Looking after local wildlife

May 12, 2021

Recently, World Earth Day highlighted the need for climate action, making many of us see the need to look after our local wildlife, as well as enjoy it.

The question many of you may be asking is, “what can I do at home to help the environment?"

Change your daily habits – and stick to them

It is far too easy to stick to old patterns which are detrimental to the environment; simple changes like using paper or canvas bags rather than plastic and taking your own reusable coffee cup to Costa really could make a difference. Last year, reports suggested Britain threw away 2.5 billion disposable cups, each one with a massive carbon footprint.

Many of us may know this already, but the question is, do we act on the information? The long-term ecological effects of small changes now could mean a great deal to our children in the future.

Compost everything you can!

The benefits of composting now could be so much better than our current system. Every time you place food waste in the rubbish bin, that food goes on to decompose and does not have the oxygen needed to do this naturally in a landfill – instead, microbes feed on the decomposition and produce methane – a gas which fast forwards climate change ten times more quickly than carbon dioxide.

Choose recyclable or sustainable packaging

Many of us have been happily throwing plastic in the recycle bin for the last ten years or so. But not everyone realizes that not all plastic is recyclable and most of them that are recyclable, can only be recycled once. 

The best course of action of course is to go plastic-free and this would certainly seem the best option. Buying loose vegetables and fruit encourages supermarkets to supply them this way. Products such as shampoo can be bought in a bar form, often from businesses using less harmful chemicals in their items. This is not just better for the environment, but also better for you and your family. Purchasing organic food is also better for your health and with no harmful pesticides, better for our essential pollinators.

Feed nature with your garden

The trees and plants that you grow in your garden have a significant impact on wildlife. Whilst many of us know that pollinators rely on native plants for food, there are some that are better than others. If you have a large garden, an English Oak will feed more wildlife than any other tree in the UK, and includes nesting for birds such as the pied flycatcher, redstart, and marsh tit. Rowan, hazel, and crab apple trees are also very supportive. Plants such as lavender are ideal in the summer for a variety of bees, as is the Hawthorn, the fruits of which birds also enjoy.

Benefitting from a rich variety of wildlife, enjoy visiting our many beautiful country parks and nature reserves, supported and managed with conservation in mind.

Blackwater Valley Path – Supporting biodiversity

Scenic countryside walks along the Blackwater Valley Path, present the opportunity to spot a wide variety of birds, butterflies, invertebrates, amphibians, and mammals. 

Ideal for walks and cycling, the path extends 23 miles in total, with woodland, meadowland country parks, nature reserves along the way. Connecting to the waterways, are Mytchett Lake, Rowhills Nature Reserve in Aldershot, and Shaky Lane in Ash Vale, with 7 acres of grassland, trees, and a pond.

The Environmental Conservation Organization aims to conserve, protect and improve the Blackwater Valley. They host many events supporting wildlife biodiversity and increasing public knowledge, which are also a great way to occupy the family!

Yateley Common – Volunteer

An abundant haven of wildlife, volunteers are welcome to support the conservation of wildlife at these beautiful commons. Renowned for the wide variety of birds and butterflies it attracts in the spring and summer, it is both of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area (SPA) due to the support it provides for wildlife.

With Covid restrictions slowly lifting, find out about volunteering with the Yateley Common Conservation Volunteers, who help maintain the heathlands with practical conservation.

Naishes Lane, Church Crookham – Encouraging wildlife

Stunning countryside features with this former MOD land, converted for the local community’s recreational use and offering a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Beautiful highland cows naturally support the wildlife in the area, which encourages birds, bats, and beetles. 

A 2km bridle path ideal for walking and horseriding allows accessibility to wetland, which is much needed in the UK, reported by the RSPCA as supporting up to 40% of world species and 12% of animals. 

Peaceful strolls through 200 acres of woodland and heathland also feature small hints at the rich military history, with World War II Pillar boxes emerging from the foliage.

Wherever you intend to spend your long-awaited meeting with family and friends once the lockdown measures begin to live, remember to observe the Covid safety guidelines, including the local travel restrictions, and take care!

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