Wildlife in the UK is in decline but we can make a difference by working together.
Connecting with nature
Nature provides a host of benefits, from the pollination of food crops and flood risk reduction to improving health and well-being. However, the 2016 State of Nature Report revealed that more than half of all UK species have declined in number in less than 50 years. There is an ever-growing disconnect between people and nature. Starting in early 2019, Naturehood aims to bridge this gap and support the recovery of UK species from a local to national scale.
What is Naturehood?
Naturehood is a citizen science project that will encourage communities to create urban networks for butterflies, bees, hedgehogs, frogs and birds by making their own spaces more wildlife friendly and by taking positive actions for wildlife. Participants will be able to learn more about the wildlife that is in their spaces through citizen science wildlife surveys, which will support vital research into what actions can have the greatest positive impact for wildlife in our towns and cities. There will be free community engagement events in local Naturehoods including wildlife walks, talks, and family-friendly DIY for wildlife workshops.
The initial phase of Naturehood will be delivered in parts of Oxford and Swindon, beginning in late March.
Turn gardens into wildlife havens
Gardens and communal green spaces have an important role to play in this challenge. If all UK gardens were turned into nature-friendly places, it would create a wildlife haven of over 430,000 hectares in size, more than four times the surface area of all national nature reserves combined.
Help us fill the wildlife knowledge gap
While it's generally accepted that actions can be taken which encourage wildlife into our gardens and parks, there's surprisingly little evidence regarding the effectiveness of such actions, and even less surrounding what impact taking these actions at scale has on wildlife populations across a range of species. By delivering a variety of engaging activities, from garden wildlife surveys to guided walks and talks, Naturehood looks to fill this knowledge gap and build strong, environmentally aware communities.
Photo credits: iStock/Nemanja Zotovic; iStock/Henrik_L