Rediscover and reconnect with London's blue spaces
Blue Connections, focused on Barking Creek and the River Roding – a tributary of the Thames – aims to improve people’s understanding and appreciation of rivers and boost their skills, employability, and mental health.
The scheme, targeted at residents and community groups in Barking & Dagenham and Newham, will offer riverside ‘walks and talks’ on the wildlife and ecology of the river, online seminars and a transferable and vocational skills training programme.
It will also feature opportunities to get involved with a ‘community mapping’ exercise aimed at identifying and removing barriers for fish migrating between freshwater channels and the tidal Thames, and environmental surveys on intertidal habitat.
The types of training opportunities that will be available include:
Soft skills: communication, event organisation, time management, collaboration, report writing, professional relationship management
Hard skills: IT, data management and visualisation, project planning, mapping using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Environmental vocational skills: tidal survey techniques, flora and fauna surveys and identification, fieldwork risk assessments
This approach also has wider benefits to boost mental health and wellbeing through access to nature – blue spaces such the River Thames and its tributaries.