“What happens next is up to every one of us” – Sir David Attenborough’ haunting words as he closed his latest documentary, Extinction: The facts. This was re-enforced by last week’s UN report on biodiversity which concluded: “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.” Mike Moser chair of the Nature Improvement Group responds to latest biodiversity news and gives suggestions on what we can do to help. Photo An Exmoor woodland
The issues are as apparent here as they are in the tropics, and we have a special responsibility to look after nature in North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve not least because the area’s economy depends on it. But how can each of us respond to Attenborough’s seemingly overwhelming challenge? I suggest four ways:
First, we need urgently to create more space for nature and connect up wild areas across gardens, community spaces, business sites and particularly farms - let a corner go wild, avoid the use of chemicals, make a pond or wildflower patch or plant trees. Farmers, who manage so much of the countryside have the largest opportunity to help nature, and many are doing so already. But can you do more, by leaving aside some less productive land for wildlife, and making your farm more nature-friendly?
Second, use your spending power to support businesses that are doing good things for nature. Buy local meat and vegetables sourced from farms in countryside stewardship or with organic or Red Tractor symbols. And in shops,buy British - and avoid exporting problems abroad.
Third, use your influence to make government at all levels do more for nature. Encourage your employer and other businesses to do more,both on the land they manage and through their supply chains. Lobby your bank or your pension provider to ensure they are not investing in businesses that are damaging nature.
Finally, support a local conservation organisation and help their vital work.
We’d love to hear how you are going to respond to Sir David Attenborough’s challenge. Please email us or put a pledge on the map -Awards for the best contributions will be offered at the end of the year!
What happens next is up to us!
Chair, Nature Improvement Group
North Devon Biosphere
Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge during September:
- Mike has created a pond that already has beetles, water boatmen, a frog, common darter laying eggs, grey wagtail and pied wagtail.
- Rachel in Braunton pledged to help hedgehogs in her garden
- Nicky in Barnstaple pledged to help hedgehogs " I regularly see two hedgehogs in my garden. I feed them hedgehog food, leave fresh water and yesterday received a hedgehog house for them. My neighbour also sees at least one of them."
- Sarah Andrews from Alverdiscott also pledged to help hedgehogs with a hedgehog house and feeding station.
- Rachael at Seaton Sluice pledges to protect your waterways from pollution.
- James in Cheltenham pledged to create a small wildlife pond using a washing up bowl in his garden and planting pond plants, a forg and water snails have already been spotted.
- Hakeford Woods forest school pledged to manage their woodland in a sustainable fashion including hazel coppicing and organising volunteering opportunities.
- Jagoda in Hartland installed a wonderful bug hotel.
- Chrissie in Torrington pledged to create a wildlife pond.
- The Park Community School plan to plant a selection of heritage and local varieties of plum, pear and apple trees for our school community to access and benefit from. This means, students, staff, friends and neighbours.
In October we have new seasonal activities, these are really key actions that will help nature and wildlife to thrive, click on the below links to find out more:
- Plant a Native Tree
- Create or Maintain a Community Orchard
- Install a bird box
- Install a bat box
- Save Your Soils
You may have seen Leaders' Pledge for Nature in the news and trending on social media! Boris Johnson has pledged to increase the amount of protected land in the UK to 30% by 2030. He signed the Leaders' Pledge for Nature, which includes commitments to prioritise a green recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, deliver ambitious biodiversity targets and increase financing for nature.
Sir David Attenborough's: A Life on Our Planet: The feature-length documentary, tells the story of life on Earth and the ecological changes of the last century. A new feature-length documentary film by David Attenborough has been released in cinemas and is also available on Netflix
October half term 2020
Oct 26, 2020
There's lots of nature related fun to be had in the North Devon Biosphere this autumn! We've got a few nature related activities and ideas on our blog from self guided walks on the North Devon coast to getting creative with leaf rubbings and pebble paintings we hope there is lots to keep you busy this half term whilst also helping and enjoying the environment around you. Don't forget to tag us in your social media posts with #pledgefornature #passthepledge
Sep 30, 2020
Many trees are now dropping their seeds and it's a great idea to collect local seeds and grow them on as trees grown from local seed stock are well suited to local conditions i.e the soil, climate and seasonal patterns.
Seeking local fishing knowledge
Sep 28, 2020
The Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (IFCA) and North Devon Biosphere are asking for help from fishers in North Devon and North Somerset.
To Our Biosphere
Make Space for Nature
More Community Action
Protect North Devon's Future