Last month, The Wildlife Trusts launched their biggest ever public survey about wildlife across the British Isles. We want to understand more about how people from across the UK view and value nature and how we, as a society, should work to protect it.
We’re keen to find out what people are already doing to help nature in their local area and to learn just how connected people currently feel with the natural world.
Whether we care to admit it or not, the UK is sadly one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world - but we don’t have to stay that way – we can put nature into recovery. We can all play our part in calling for change and all of us have the capacity to take action in our own lives that helps put nature into recovery both locally and across the UK. At a time when much of the news about nature and the environment is negative, it’s important to remember that we can make a difference.
As things currently stand, 41% of all wildlife has declined in abundance since 1970; 26% of mammals, including once ubiquitous hedgehogs and water voles, are now at risk of extinction. 53% of our precious native plants have declined due to impacts such as farming practices and climate change.
You might be wondering how taking part in a survey will help - but having access to detailed information from the British public that demonstrates just how many people care about and value nature will be powerful when convincing decision makers such as politicians that we need urgent change. By highlighting the actions that people are already taking for nature locally, we can also encourage more people than ever before to do something positive on their patch.
The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and is open to everyone. All views and opinions are equally welcome, valued and respected. This is not just a simple wildlife survey – we want this research to help us contribute to creating a wilder future for everyone in Nottinghamshire and beyond. It includes thought-provoking questions such as Why does nature matter to you, if it does at all? Who do you think should be tasked with looking after nature? And What have you done recently to spend time in nature or to protect it?
There is no doubt we are a county and country of nature lovers. We’re also fortunate to have natural wonders on our doorstep and across the British Isles. Despite this, we have to accept that much of our nature and many of our wild places have been damaged or destroyed. As a result, we carry the label of living in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world – where a shocking one in seven species are at risk of extinction.
To help change that and put nature into recovery we need everyone to play their part. From creating wilder gardens and community spaces to campaigning for change in your local area and nationally. There are so many different ways people can get involved in nature’s recovery – but it’s vital that people make a start.
This research will provide valuable insights into what we all think and feel about nature here in Nottinghamshire. It should also help us to inspire even more people in communities across our wonderful county to join efforts to put nature into recovery – starting now. The more we know about current attitudes to nature, the more we will be able to empower people to help protect it.”
The Great British Nature Survey has only be running for a few weeks but thousands have already had their say. We’d be delighted if you would add your voice so we can do more to champion and restore nature and support people to take action at home and within our communities. To take part, visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/great-big-nature-survey
Spring is a truly wonderful time to connect with nature. Our ancient woodlands are filled with bluebells and the magical sound of the dawn chorus. In a matter of weeks, traditional meadows will be alive with wildflowers including exotic looking orchids.
At our wetlands sites including Idle Valley Nature Reserve we have the prospect of migrant warblers such as whitethroat, willow and sedge warbler; waders such as dunlin, greenshank, redshank and ringed plover plus cuckoo and common tern. As well as enjoying birds that are taking advantage of the wetland habitat for breeding, May often provides great opportunities to watch skilful hobbies as they hunt dragonflies over the lakes.
A Warm Welcome.
With extended café opening hours, a restocked shop offering a range of wildlife themed books and gifts as well as wild bird food, nest boxes and binoculars - plus information screens listing recent bird sightings and details of upcoming events, our centre at the southern end of the reserve off North Road, Retford is a great place to start your visit.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust