zFiller Environment

Create your own wild space

All Areas > Environment > Save the Planet

Author: Gareth Parry, Posted: Thursday, 24th September 2015, 08:00

For a long time, conservation has relied on the idea of creating nature reserves to protect areas for nature. Although reserves play an important role, they cannot successfully conserve wildlife on their own. Just 7% of land in the UK has any sort of formal protection for nature and many species cannot survive and prosper in these small isolated pockets of land.

To put it simply, many of the UK’s nature reserves, wildlife sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are simply too small to ensure the long-term conservation of the plants and animals they are designated for.

Everyone has the power to make a difference
If we are to preserve and restore Britain’s wildlife we need to connect and expand our special wildlife sites. This is easier said than done because the vast majority of land in the UK is in private ownership. However, this also means that nearly everyone has the power to make a difference, whether it is creating a wildlife area in your garden, cutting verges less often or adding a wildlife feature to a local green space. Creating a small island of wildlife habitat in your local area can make a difference.

The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust speak to many wildlife enthusiasts, a lot of whom would love to create a community wildlife area but are not sure where to begin. They dearly want to help, but simply don’t have the resources to visit all the potential sites and help people plan, fund and undertake improvements for wildlife. This is why they have teamed up with the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust (GET) to launch the ‘My Wild Space’ fund.

Help conserve wildlife in your local area
The fund is targeted at community groups who wish to help conserve wildlife in their local area. These groups – including schools and parish councils – can apply for grants of up to £5,000 to help cover costs such as equipment, professional labour and education materials. Applicants will also have the opportunity to receive expert guidance from a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Community Wildlife Officer to help them decide what to do and complete the application process.

Autumn and winter are perfect seasons for creating wildlife areas
Even relatively small spaces can be transformed into wildlife areas – whether it is a pond, beetle bank, wildflower area, hedgerow or small orchard, there are endless possibilities. Autumn and winter are the perfect seasons to create wildlife areas and ‘My Wild Space’ is open for applications now. For more information and to download application forms, call 01452 383333 or visit www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk.

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