Thamesmead Biodiversity Monitoring

Impact:

We have worked closely with the client to implement actions aimed at engaging the local community in biodiversity enhancement. We have also used our knowledge and experience to aid the client in developing a programme of work that provides information to support one of the end goals of the CLEVER Cities project, namely the development of biodiversity guidelines for urban development and regeneration.

Project Background:

Thamesmead, in south-east London, was originally developed as a New Town in the 1960s. More recently it has become one of the biggest ongoing redevelopment projects in the capital, aimed at creating growth and regeneration whilst also improving the local living experience. The clients of the new Thamesmead project are very keen to explore new technologies/approaches for biodiversity creation in urban developments, and to incorporate community involvement into long-term biodiversity monitoring.

Scope of services:

We have advised the project on various biodiversity enhancements and are establishing a pilot urban regeneration monitoring programme that uses low-cost, innovative technologies that can be easily scaled up.

There are three key elements to our work:

  • Biodiversity metric comparisons – comparing the outputs and effectiveness of the Defra Biodiversity Metric against the Urban Greening Factor for measuring biodiversity change on urban sites.
  • Establishing a monitoring programme that could be community-led, using low cost, basic static acoustic wildlife detectors (AudioMoths) and cloud-based automated identification systems (BTO Acoustic Pipeline) with specialist verification of results as required.
  • Invertebrate monitoring – sweep net sampling and analysis using metabarcoding as a proxy for biodiversity change in response to landscape/management actions.

We used our understanding of available biodiversity measurement tools to complete a detailed comparison of different metric approaches when applied to the urban environment. This, alongside our experience in designing and implementing biodiversity monitoring, is supporting the client in their overall aim of developing a set of guidance for developers and local authorities in relation to biodiversity monitoring and measuring associated with urban regeneration.