Bromley’s volunteers are dedicated local residents who provide local custodianship to their sites, contributing a significant difference to the quality, accessibility, interpretation and management of their local green space. Our volunteers work in urban parks, the countryside, outdoor sports, allotments, churchyards and on heritage and archaeological sites.
At present, there are over 50 fully active groups with over 3500 individual Friends. Together, they are the custodians of nearly 50% of Bromley’s green space portfolio and their role is increasingly proactive, developing stronger links with park users, idverde managers and the broader community. These groups provide education, social events, and additional maintenance tasks which complement the existing idverde grounds maintenance service. In countryside sites, they survey the local habitats and provide practical countryside skills.
Many groups attract significant external funding, as demonstrated at the annual Fundraising Celebration event. The Friends are supported by an excellent umbrella organisation in the Friends Forum, http://www.bromleyfriendsforum.org/ which was established as a ground-breaking solution to give the various Friends a common and powerful voice. Bromley’s Friends’ network enjoys unprecedented support from both idverde and Bromley Council; who understand the need for each group to be different without being constrained by bureaucratic or political fetter. The Bromley Friends ‘concept’ has been widely applauded world-wide – both in print and lecture.
Friends Groups have also made a powerful impact with regard to their fundraising and promotion of Bromley Council’s diverse woodland stock. The London Tree and Woodland Awards have been held annually since 2008 (promoted by the Forestry Commission, the Mayor of London and the RE:LEAF partnership) to celebrate the fantastic work taking place in the ‘boroughs’.
To see a list of all the Friends Groups in the borough please visit the Friends Forum website Friends Groups – Bromley Friends Forum