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KUSubLife / Nature Engagement /
Hogsmill riverside behind Kingston University is in need of care and attention. With a growing litter issue, how can we encourage its users to be more responsible and empathetic to nature?
Our knowledge of biodiversity and connection with nature is in decline. It is more important now than ever before that we need to be more engaged with nature. With the rapid increase of technology, urbanisation of lands, climate change, and industrialisation leading to the decline of honey bees that play an important part in the sustainability of human life. Children need to be educated now to become future guardians of our planet, to provide them with the knowledge they need today to preserve the natural world for tomorrow (Djoghlaf, 2010).
The Kingston University Sustainability and Biodiversity Life (KUSubLife) project was developed through design thinking and prototype stages, the end result was a nature trail designed to reconnect the local community with nature. The project aims to engage a diverse group of people; primary school children, university students, staff and public who can enjoy the Hogsmill riverside by understanding its biodiversity and protecting the habitat. According to the Wildlife Trusts, over 90% of people recently surveyed agreed that our wellbeing and quality of life is based on nature and biodiversity (Wildlifetrusts.org, 2015).
The trail will inspire getting out, being active and learning about nature. Encouraging users to participate and share their discoveries but also providing valuable feedback about the riverside. The trail has a digital interactive element, using the Layar app, smartphone users can scan images for extra clues and information. While children and older users have the option to share their findings on the Discovery Board and take part in the online quiz. The aim is to develop three nature trails for our local community. The idea is for the trail to be seasonal, so it changes through natures cycle to keep it fresh and exciting.
A nature trail may be more suitable in a nicer suburban area, however Hogsmill riverside is an unappreciated part of Kingston that requires care and attention to restore its beauty. This responsibility is partly of the local council, but also the public.
An asset flourishing with nature and wildlife, it can benefit users in many ways. In exchange we should be able to give back to protect it, which was the main aim of this project.