Helping Nature Thrive
Retaining and improving biodiversity
In the last 60 years or so bird and insect populations have collapsed, together with a massive loss of trees, hedgerows and wildflower meadows.
Yet locally we are still never far from birdsong as we still have many trees and hedgerows. Much good work has already been done by our community, but there is much more we can do.
The State of Nature
The depletion of plant diversity and animal life in the UK and elsewhere over the last 50 years or more has been shocking. According to the Staffs Wildlife Trust over this period, 56% of all species have declined across the UK and Britain is ranked as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Nearly 15 % of all species are now at risk of disappearing completely. For more details check the State of Nature report.
It is worrying is that we have become used to this – each generation suffers from the “shifting baseline” phenomenon whereby we think the depleted level is the way it’s always been.
Within the Parish we have already lost many fields and hedgerows to development so we need to protect and enhance what we still have.
Positive Action Counts
However, there is hope as, given the chance and the support, nature can bounce back. Across the country communities are working together to improve the bio-diversity in their gardens and neighbourhoods. Good examples are to be found in Felixstowe and London’s Blackstock Triangle. An interesting approach for smaller spaces is the Ark approach.
Landowners, such as the Knepp Estate in Sussex have also encouraged nature to bounce back through “rewilding” with very positive results. Many farmers are taking up sustainable or restorative agricultural practices by improving the soil and encouraging biodiversity.
What’s going on locally?
We all can do our bit in our back yards and we can also encourage our community to manage land with wildlife in mind. This thinking is relevant to our own gardens, public Green Spaces, and land owners.
For many years local groups such as Colwich Parish in Bloom have been doing some great work by developing a range of community-based planting initiatives and some of these can be seen here.
The Parish Council has asked SinCH to work with them to help deliver its Green Infrastructure Plan. We will also contribute to the thinking about plans to improve the Jubilee Playing Fields and to develop the new Remembrance Garden.
The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging the development of larger scale Nature Recovery Networks to help create a joined-up system of habitats for wild plants and animals to allow them to live, feed and breed and move from place to place. It also helps the natural world to be more resilient and adapt to change.
The National Trust at Shugborough are also working on improvements and new initiatives to improve biodiversity.
There are a range of local groups and initiatives underway:
- Parish Council Green Infrastructure Plan
- River of Flowers
- Colwich Parish In Bloom
- Great Haywood Mini-bloomers
- Colwich Allotments
- Staffordshire Hardy Plants Society
In 2022 SinCH will continue to develop the Green Spaces concept but in the meantime please:
- Get involved in SinCh’s Green Fingers project and check out the information about gardening for wildlife there.
- Take part in local litter picks organised by Colwich Parish In Bloom.
- Connect with nature through local footpaths and SinCH’s own Green Walks.
- Support local projects as they are advertised.