Short video sessions where we will be meeting members of the community who are helping nature to thrive in the North Devon Biosphere. We will be finding out what projects they are involved in, what they have done for nature in their patch and asking what makes the North Devon Biosphere special to them. We hope you will feel inspired to help nature in your own area, if you have any suggestions for people you would like to hear more from the please let us know!
EPISODE 1: Mike Moser, international ecologist
Our first guest is Dr Mike Moser, international ecologist with over 30 years experience in nature conservation and sustainable development. Mike chairs the North Devon Biosphere's 'Nature Improvement Group' is a trustee of Devon Wildlife Trust and was closely involved in the launch of Pledge for Nature. He lives on an organic farm near Chulmleigh which he manages for nature with support from the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
We ask him about the unique species and habitats that exist within the biosphere and about threats to nature in North Devon and what we can do to address them.
EPISODE 2: Bideford's Little Green Town, postcode gardener Lizz Dobinson
Little Green Town is a community gardening project, working in central Bideford. The project started with a crowdfunder campaign and support through the local councils, the Bideford Town Centre Partnership and Friends of the Earth. The spaces that the project has worked on so far include unused car park beds in the Bridge St car park and Riverbank car park, and the most recent planting was alongside the Burton art gallery in Victoria Park.
On our volunteer sessions we use the app iNaturalist to record the wildlife we find whilst gardening. The project has worked with volunteers from right across the community, and is open too all-you don't have to be a gardener to get involved. They have also been joined by the local Brownies and the Youth Centre Space*. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the project has had to pause volunteer sessions and have moved online, Lizz has been making regular video guides to keep everyone gardening and showing just how fun and easy it can be. They will return to gardening together as a community as soon as they are able to do so.
About Lizz: When I'm not growing with the community in Bideford as the 'Postcode Gardener' I work as a Garden Designer and run a Plant Nursery, I'm always gardening! I have always had a passion and interest in plants and the natural world, and this interest is constantly growing.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT SEARCH MAKING BIDEFORD THe LITTLE GREEN TOWN on Facebook
EPISODE 3: Claire Moodie, CEO at Plastic Free North Devon
Plastic Free North Devon (PFND), is a grassroots community organisation that aims to inspire North Devon residents, tourists and businesses to drastically reduce their consumption of single-use plastic, remove it from the environment and dispose of it properly. They aim to connect people with their natural surroundings through conversations, education and events to ensure residents and visitors alike want to protect what our very existence depends on.
Since the creation of PFND in August 2017 they have seen unprecedented passion and momentum build throughout our communities towards this issue.
Claire is an avid surfer, lover of the marine environment and all things outdoors, this makes her passionate about the need to protect and preserve this fragile resource. Having worked on many conservation projects around the world including working as a Surfers Against Sewage representative for the last 5 years means I have not only come face to face with some of the worlds most majestic creatures and witnessed the issues they face but she has seen what happens when people come together to tackle an issue to create positive change within their communities.
Click here to find out more about the 'new normal' survey, please completed before the end of June!
EPISODE 4: Jan Coman, Action for Insects with Devon Wildlife Trust
Devon Wildlife Trust do amazing work for nature:
- Managing over 50 nature reserves across Devon,
- Advising farmers to manage their land in an environmental friendly manner,
- Working with marine conservation zones to change fishing practices
- Educating and increasing engagement in the natural world.
Action for Insects is one of their latest campaigns to stop the devastating decline in insect populations. Insects pollinate three quarters of our food crops, as well as being the main food source for many birds, small mammals and fish. We found out the reasons for this decline, special insects that we can find in Devon and what we can do to help! More information about what you can do to help insects on our page here.
EPISODE 5: A visit to Hole Farm, Woolfardisworthy
We meet Heather Alford and her father Andrew who are farming with wildlife in mind. Over the past 40+ years they have dug several ponds, planted trees and a small orchard, created wildflower meadows and established an amazing garden all whilst running the farm which has a herd of pedigree native Devon cattle as well as arable crops.
Hole farm has previously opened their gardens to the public to share the amazing space that they have created for events run by the National Open Garden Scheme. It is fantastic to see a farming family so passionate about caring for the natural environment and realising their role in protecting it.
Please feel free to share these conversations with your community groups, friends and family.
CLICK HERE FOR EPISODES 6-10
Community Orchards - End of Scheme and recipients
Jan 8, 2021
The Community Orchards Challenge Fund was set up to address the decline in traditional orchards in the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere. Orchards are recognised for their important biodiversity and community value.
Jan 4, 2021
Happy New Year! We hope you managed to take some time over the Christmas period to get out and enjoy nature. In this blog post we have posted the events to look out for in January as well as celebrating some of the brilliant pledges that were submitted in December.
Biosphere 2020 Nature Awards
Dec 10, 2020
To recognise some of the individuals and organisations who have gone the extra mile to make space for nature in 2020 as part of the Pledge for Nature project. Despite the challenges of 2020 we are pleased to have seen a general increase in awareness and appreciation for wildlife and nature. We have loved reading and hearing about the brilliant pledges and actions that people are taking for nature in their gardens, school, community areas and farms!
Nov 30, 2020
Celebrating the fantastic pledges that have taken place during November, thank you to every one who has made a pledge, winter is an especially important time to help nature. There's lots of activities to keep you busy in December from online events, volunteer and citizen science opportunities and our Nature Friendly Christmas Challenge.
To Our Biosphere
Make Space for Nature
More Community Action
Protect North Devon's Future