To rewild across our UK urban landscape ASAP, every Pocket can be MONETISED to pay for MORE Pockets. If each Pocket generates £1800 a year minimum - through various schemes, also beneficial to the local communities in which they reside, featured below - and every NEW Pocket generates £1800 for the NEXT Pocket and so on... PP's income (from Pocket Protectors/Sponsors) will ALSO be added to and compounded to rewild further and further across our urban landscape making space for millions of lives and for the betterment of an ever expanding human audience.
Each Pocket will have a sign with it, declaring it a 'Protected Local Pocket'... These signs will have a glass front and space for local businesses to advertise to the community as they enjoy the Pockets. The advertising revenue will help to monetise the Pockets passively whilst drawing the local community together to better find out about one another, supporting this rewilding scheme together.
Foraging Workshops/Local Educational Opportunities... Learning about plants & herbs to forage for, plus plants with medicinal properties... Planting blackberries, currents & goji berries (to illustrate nature's bounty) and these can be companion planted with complementary native plants...
PP will invite marketing students in the nearest universities/colleges to put forward their own ideas (for which they get full credit) to monetise the Pockets: also further expanding PP's audience.
PEOPLE POWER, INVESTED IN NATURE
£1800 purchases/protects from development 1 metre squared (10,000 cms) of urban land PLUS rewilding it AND monetising it (to pay for MORE Pockets). People/Businesses can start at donating £18 per 100 cm squared (or more to rewild bigger spaces) ...
Due to land registry restrictions, the tiny pieces of land might have to be owned collaboratively NOT individually but - overall - individuals would have shared ownership over that patch of land and know that they have protected it.
They will purchase/donate on the legal understanding (signed on purchase) that the land will become a green, wild space (and thereafter will be examined to see if it needs any conservational management) and will be protected PERMANENTLY to rewild Britain.
We'll allow nature to restore ecological balance.
If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be protected, mini wildflower meadows & refuges for wildlife/pollinators will impact across the urban landscape.
Scattered throughout our urban commercial/residential spaces are 1000s of tiny patches of land (1 metre and upwards) that are wasted/unused and COULD be rewilded...
What if we bought those tiny patches freehold under a contractual agreement that they would be allowed to re-wild & become an urban pocket wilderness?
So here's an opportunity - by joining the 'Pocket Protection' Collective - to work together, no matter our differences/wage, to buy and rewild 1000s of tiny pockets of land across our UK Urban landscape. (At 18p per cm squared or £18 per 100 cm squared).
(The business/council/landowner that we buy land from benefits from the cash injection for a previously wasted space that could become a talking point in the community).
Full Steam Ahead...
As this really takes off and keeps building and nurturing more life, SUPPORT FROM 'POCKET PROTECTORS' will help to fund the hiring of an individual/team to assist the growth of 'Pocket Protection' to benefit our environment ASAP.
Reaching Out To YOU Rewild...
My journey starts as I reach out to communities (WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR BOROUGH REWILDED???) to rewild with me.
The true action-takers are the members of every urban town/city/borough who welcome me into their lives/spaces and who then help me search for land to purchase/rewild within their urban community.
The first wave of Pockets to be rewilded will be those nominated by businesses who are FUNDING this work... Sponsors/Partners AND then those who become Benefactors/Pocket Protectors.
Rewild the land OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR & AROUND YOUR SCHOOLS & WORK PLACES.
Research/Findings So Far...
I've been lucky enough to speak to Professor Alastair Driver, who thinks that small mammals, insects and birds will use these spaces and he even brought up other benefits that I hadn’t considered, like the savings on carbon emissions by stopping the land from being mowed continuously and the lack of water pollution because we will be stopping any pesticides that may have been being used before. Each individual patch only has a tiny impact but if the numbers move into the 1000s then the combined impact is significant, along with all the other benefits.
The only negatives were potential running of water pipes and cables under the land and dealing with situations with companies wanting access but these just need to be factored into the planning and he said that they weren’t a reason not to go ahead with PP and bring about the above benefits. Also, hedgehogs may not find huge use in the pockets that are too far apart or too small but could benefit from the re-education scheme surrounding each Pocket, letting local communities know about making their gardens wilder and more accessible.
I have spoken to a Ian Smith, Head of Financial Planning & Performance at WWF-UK who very kindly gave me his time to look over my plans to build a financial base from which to upscale PP quickly once the first case studies are in place & overall it looks like we are doing the right things... Creating a community of Protectors paying £1 a week for research/development and then management: sourcing Pockets, overseeing the purchases and paying for Legal, Rewilding & Wildflower expertise. It's also super important that those who would like to are invited to be part of this incredible process of reintegrating the natural world back into our urban landscape permanently through online meetings, frequent updates, social get togethers and reports on wildlife moving into the purchased spaces. See the basic income model HERE.
I've been speaking to Fergus Beeley at Blue Hub Campaign, and he had some great insights. Our plans are very different and he really challenged me to look at PP from all angles and prepare to be challenged and even prepare to adapt if necessary (still purchasing & protecting urban pockets) but to take small steps as quickly as possible to start cracking up those grey sprawls with havens/refuges for plant and wildlife. The work he does is incredibly important and from years as a Series Producer working on most of the Natural Shows that you will have seen and loved, he is working tirelessly, rewilding the UK...
The ‘Ecological Objective’ behind Pocket Protection.
I have spoken to ecologists from Toronto, the UK & America (all with differing areas of expertise) about the best way to go about rewilding these small patches of land. One lady summed it up…
"I don't think there are specific measurements or patterns that are standardized, as most cities were developed before the environment was a major concern, so now they have to work with the infrastructure that is already in place. The original ecosystem and urban flora will determine what you can do as well.”
So rather than planning to find ‘X’ number of patches that are ‘X’ size within ‘X’ distance apart to help ‘X’ specific species, this story is about uniting communities to walk around together to find as much wasted land as we can buy (whatever size and shape each patch is) to then hand over to ecologists to treat as a bespoke case to best help biodiversity in that area.
It’s very much a ‘guerilla’ way of rewilding (and definitely not as scientifically focused as ecologists normally like to be) but all of the ecologists have agreed that it’s the right (and probably only) way to go about it. [Plus everyone is keen to take data from these patches to learn from to maybe implement elsewhere.]
It also allows the local community to really learn from the experts as they rewild the patches later on: finding out about the strengths and weaknesses for the local wildlife in their local area/soil quality/water fall.
As one ecologist (just finishing his phd in Charleston, America) said, when I asked him if these patches would definitely be of benefit to insects/birds/wildlife… “Yeah if you build it, they will come. Best of Luck!”
Through my previous background in TV, I was able to let an Executive Producer know about Pocket Protection. Ed frequently sources stories for The One Show & thinks they'd be keen to feature our PP story. Chances are that he'll be filming the first purchased Pocket exchange/rewilding, so let's get cracking!
- There are scientifically proven benefits to living in greener spaces, contributing especially to human physical & mental well being.
- Re-wilding in urban areas will cleanse the air from vehicle emissions, meaning a healthier life for the local community.
- If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be protected it will offer a MASSIVE biodiversity boost.
- A lot of the UK population renting in overcrowded residential areas - and feeling unable to effect change because they don’t own their own properties to rewild - will be empowered to affordably rewild their neighbourhoods/local streets & reharmonise with nature by permanently protecting (and collaboratively owning) these Pockets.
- If 100,000s of these tiny pockets of land can be protected, local wildlife will have multiple points of refuge and even safe spots to move between if they need to cross the urban landscape.
- There will be considerable savings on carbon emissions (if these Pockets were previously lawned grass) by stopping the land from being mowed continuously plus lack of water pollution because we will be stopping any pesticides that may have been being used before. Each individual patch only has a tiny impact but if the numbers move into the 1000s then the combined impact is significant.
- Every single Pocket will contribute towards flood prevention and water filtration.
- Businesses/Councils/Landowners get a cash injection: on land previously going to waste.
- It’s a great way to let people know about #LettingLifeIn so that people can start to learn about the necessity for wildflowers & for more natural habitats before it's too late. This 'Protected Pockets' idea non-aggressively and openly makes it easy for individuals with gardens to make changes to their OWN homes to live more in harmony with nature, without being preached at or made to feel at odds. They will be offered ways (through collaborative Partners) to rewild their own land.
- Local conservation groups can monitor the protected pockets and publish their findings through local press: creating interest locally in a way that communities can better relate to.
- Evidence can be gathered immediately on the positive carbon impact of these Pockets, comparing the previous amounts of times the land was mown every year and what pesticides/herbicides were used to control the space. Each Pocket will have a minimal impact but together 1000s of Pockets will start to have a significant and measurable effect, looking at carbon being drawn down from the atmosphere via regenerated plantlife plus water run off and other contributing factors advised on by ecological experts.