Mace is a long term partner of London Wildlife Trust and over the last six years more than 2,000 Mace employees have volunteered their time to support the Trust's conservation work across 40 reserves in London. Mace has provided support through substantial volunteer support, funding and donations of materials, technical knowledge as well as facilitating access to specialist contractors to complete important conservation work and open up green spaces to local communities.
In 2018, Mace efforts have been focused on Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve. Mace and their subcontractors are currently in the process of building the Wetlands’ first major onsite project designed by London Wildlife Trust - a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) sensory garden which will provide a safe and stimulating way for children to explore, enjoy and discover nature.
The space will be fully wheelchair accessible in all seasons, with planting beds and interactive boxes at different heights to allow interaction. It has also been designed with different sensory zones for touch, sight, taste, smell and sound.
The zones are revealed one at a time along with ‘quiet zones’ so that the experience is neither overwhelming nor overstimulating. There will also be additional sensory experiences provided by the mud kitchen, sand area and water ponds whilst special plants will be grown so that the space will also provide a high diversity of fauna, especially invertebrate life, allowing visitors to feel comfortable and curious about animals as well. It is hoped that the SEND sensory garden will be completed by spring 2019 and will provide a focused and guided way of connecting with nature.
The second major Mace supported project at Walthamstow Wetlands in autumn 2018 is the rebuilding of the site's largest bird hide, overlooking Reservoir 3. Originally built in 1989 the hide will be demolished and replaced with a new hide that will be wheelchair accessible.
These projects run alongside an ongoing programme of Mace employee days at Walthamstow Wetlands to support habitat management and creation across the reserve. To date Mace employees in 2018 have helped design and construct tern rafts, snake refugia, outdoor classroom seating and stag beetle loggeries. Whilst enjoying the diversity of wildlife and nature at the Wetlands, Mace volunteers have also taken part in the habitat management across the reserve such as cutting meadows and clearing 1,442m2 of scrub whilst also learning how to fell and coppice trees.