Westfield London has worked collectively with Urban Planters and Timberland to open an accessible and biodiverse Nature Reserve at the West London shopping destination, launching a three-year sustainable partnership to support local schools and residents. A pioneering space, the Nature Reserve has been designed to feature a range of diverse horticultural areas and forms part of Westfield London’s ongoing commitment to the local area.
The Nature Reserve, which Urban Planters helped to design, hosts a variety of different areas including a wild flower meadow, insect hotels, beehive, fruit trees, vegetable beds, herbs and a pond area. Located behind the Southern Terrace at Westfield London, it will showcase different methods for growing fruits and vegetables to help visitors learn about sustainable food growing and the importance of caring for our environment.
The London Access Group has worked with Westfield London to design a safe and accessible space for visitors, providing practical guidance on all elements of the Nature Reserve, including modifying the heights of vegetable planters, signage design and accessibility of pathways.
Jacinta Roswell, General Manager at Westfield London said: “We’re excited to partner with our retailers, contractors and our London Access Group to provide a safe and accessible space for students to learn the importance of protecting nature and ensuring a green future. At Westfield London, we’re always looking to create new experiences and the Nature Reserve is a great example of how we can work together to create meaningful activations that align with our ethos and commitments to our local community.”
This is to ensure visitors, made up of students from local specialist schools such as Jack Tizard School and Queensmill School, can use the space. These organisations support young people with severe learning disabilities and autism. Students will be invited to explore the space and offered the opportunity to learn about the importance of nature, biodiversity and horticulture.
Duncan Newman of Urban Planters, who helped to design the reserve, said: “We are very pleased to work alongside Westfield London in designing and delivering the Westfield Nature Reserve. We are excited to share our passion for protecting natural habitats and the value of plants with the local community. With people spending more time indoors than ever before, we’re encouraging people to surround themselves in nature. Plants not only improve the quality of the air we breathe by removing harmful toxins they also reduce stress levels and improve our mental health. The Westfield Nature Reserve provides a great place to engage with the local community on the benefits of plants and greener urban areas.”
Andrea Simmen, Marketing Manager at Timberland added: “We are proud to sponsor The Westfield Nature Reserve. It perfectly aligns with our brand ethos of bringing communities together and investing in nature for a greener and brighter future. We couldn’t be happier with the partnership which we believe is the start of something really special. The space itself is a great place for local schools to learn about why being in nature is so important, not only for the future of our planet, but also our mental and physical health. This space gives us a platform to educate the local community on how they can make small changes on a grassroots level which together contribute towards a greener London.”
The Nature Reserve is a great example of a project that aligns to Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s (URW) Better Places 2030 strategy, which focuses on three pillars; Better Spaces – Better Communities – Better Together and aims to future-proof all its assets including Westfield London. The strategy gives purpose to URW teams, supports retailers, provides sustainable experiences to visitors and shared value for local communities. This project is an example of how working together with contractors, retailers and local communities can help the local community and environment to flourish.
The space will be managed within current COVID Secure guidelines with hand sanitisation stations placed throughout the area, social distancing will be practised at all times.