Improve a local area for wildlife and create a local Living Landscape
From hedgerows to ponds, gardens to roadside verges, there are many opportunities to protect and enhance your local area. Your survey may help identify local opportunities to restore, recreate and reconnect habitats. Here are just a few ideas to help you create a local Living Landscape
to benefit both people and wildlife.
a) Take action
Having found out about the wildlife in your local area you may consider making a local habitat action plan to ensure that some of the habitats identified in your survey will be looked after. A habitat action plan may sound scary, but it is a way of highlighting a habitat important to wildlife in your local area and listing a few simple, achievable tasks that will help improve it for plants, animals and people.
Get into a good habit…
Before writing your own local habitat action plan take a look at some Norfolk Habitat Action Plans. They may give you inspiration. Visit: www.norfolkbiodiversity.org
b) Focus on gardens
Gardens can provide havens for many species that are now declining in the wider countryside, such as hedgehogs, song thrushes and frogs. A garden survey in your local area can help raise awareness of just how important gardens are for wildlife. Use your survey results to encourage more people to take action for wildlife in their gardens. Simple action include:
- Using native and locally found plant species where possible
- Providing evergreens such as holly and ivy
- Leaving an area to go wild
- Creating a garden pond
- Leaving some areas of grass longer to provide habitat for wild flowers, grasshoppers and young amphibians
Go wild for gardens…
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has produced a series of wildlife gardening leaflets. To view them click here.
c) Become a pond pal, a meadow mate, a forest friend…
Your habitat survey may have revealed a habitat that could do with a little bit of T.L.C. Form a wildlife action group and carry out basic conservation tasks. In the case of a pond you may want to take the plunge and carry out tasks such as litter removal, and where appropriate the removal of excess weed and the cutting back of surrounding trees.
Want to know how to manage, restore and create a habitat?
for a series of simple, easy-to-follow factsheets giving advice from hedgerow planting to meadow creation.
Help a specific animal or plant
a) Take action
Write your own local species action plan. Similar to the local habitat action plan this will give practical suggestions which can be undertaken within your local area to help protect a specific species and help build up population levels.
If you have local populations of any of the species of high conservation concern, listed here, why not work with others in the community to draw up plans to safeguard them?
To view some examples of Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plans visit: www.norfolkbiodiversity.org.uk
Shout out about the wildlife in your local area
Share your results with the local community. It will help to raise awareness and may enthuse more people to get involved in protecting what is on your doorstep. There are many different ways to do this and below we have only highlighted three ideas.
If you need help or advice to take your project further contact Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Information Service on 01603 598333.
a) Take a walk on the wildside
Organise a guided wildlife walk to show others the results of your survey. Here are some top tips:
- Familiarise yourself wit the route beforehand
- Ensure you have completed a risk assessment
- Check all participants are suitably equipped for prevailing conditions
- Introduce yourself and any helpers and give a brief resume of the walk
- During the walk, keep near the front so you can steer people in the right direction and appoint a back-marker to look after the people at the rear
- Set a reasonable pace, and make sure the group stays together
Taking it one step further…
The parishes of Briston and Melton Constable have produced a walks booklet. This highlights four walks within the two parishes and helps people to discover the wildlife on their doorstep. To download a copy click here.
b) Produce a wildlife parish map
A parish wildlife map is a fantastic way to bring people together to record the animals and plant that they value in their local area. Advice and ideas on producing parish maps can be found at www.commonground.org.uk
c) Encourage the growth of the next generation
If you have carried out a survey of ancient trees in your local area why not collect seeds from them and encourage schools and local groups to grow them? These saplings could then be used to fill in the gaps of hedges, be given as presents to plant in local gardens or you could plant them in an appropriate area to mark a significant anniversary or celebration.