Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve, severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is set to receive a funding boost from Berkeley Homes and Hackney Council as part of the Woodberry Down Regeneration Partnership - after they announced that they would match-fund donations from the public up to a total of £55,000.
The wetlands was opened by naturalist David Attenborough four years ago. Woodberry Down's two reservoirs were largely inaccessible to the public for over 100 years, but now provide an oasis of tranquility, rich in wildlife.
While social distancing guidelines initially meant that the reserve and its cafe could not safely reopen, London Wildlife Trust (LWT) - which runs the site - has been hit by the larger economic effects of the pandemic. The Trust is set to lose £650,000 of its expected income over the next 12 months.
The match-funding from Hackney Council and Berkeley Homes will help to support the Wetlands, which costs around £110,000 a year to run, to re-open as soon as possible - potentially within weeks.
The partners are joining LWT in urging people to contribute to its funding appeal.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said: "I know how much Woodberry Wetlands means to local people - they fought to save these special places 30 years ago and today we all know how important its green lung of water, wildlife and trees is to the community. This unique urban oasis has transformed the area since it opened just four years ago, enriching Hackney's biodiversity.
"My Cabinet colleague Cllr Jon Burke, who is one of the area's ward councillors, has worked hard with Berkeley Homes and London Wildlife Trust to secure funding to support the Wetlands, and I'm delighted that we were able to allocate funds from the Woodberry Down regeneration, which is providing much-needed new social and affordable housing, to help keep the Wetlands running. I'd urge people who've used the Wetlands to join me and contribute to the appeal too - any amount, however small, will help it to stay open."
Dan Massie, Pre-Development Director at Berkeley Homes, said: "The Woodberry Wetlands is a haven for local people and as members of the Woodberry Down community ourselves, we shared our neighbour's views that it had to be saved.
"Berkeley Homes, in partnership with Hackney Council, is delighted to announce that we will be match funding the amazing fundraising efforts of local people. Together, we hope to ensure the Wetlands remain open both now and into the future, enabling it to be enjoyed by generations to come."
Rosie Oldham, London Wildlife Trust Head of Fundraising said: "Like all charities, we have been hit hard with the coronavirus crisis affecting our fundraising. It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters, who care about London's wildlife as much as we do, that London Wildlife Trust are able to look after special wild spaces like Woodberry Wetlands. We have really seen how much Woodberry means to people since launching this appeal - please, if you can, help us to open it again."
To support the Woodberry Wetlands appeal visit https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/save-woodberry
The Woodberry Down regeneration is one of Europe's biggest single-site estate regeneration projects being delivered in partnership by Hackney Council, Berkeley Homes, Notting Hill Genesis, Woodberry Down Community Organisation and the Manor House Development Trust.