What is A pledge for nature?
It's Time to ACT!
Pledge for Nature is a campaign to galvanise community action for nature’s recovery across the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere and beyond.
Our wildlife has been in decline for decades, with iconic species like breeding cuckoos, lapwings and curlews disappearing from North Devon, insects and wildflowers from our meadows and salmon from our rivers. Immediate action is needed to help North Devon’s nature to flourish again in our farmland, woods, gardens, rivers and open spaces.
For more information on the Biodiversity crisis: Watch Sir David Attenborough's: A Life on Our Planet or visit the UN Convention for Biological Diversity.
Our aims to MAKE NORTHERN devon
a better place for nature
Make Space for NAture
More Community Action
Protect for the future
Over the coming years, with the help of our conservation partners, we will be promoting seasonal activities to tackle the most pressing problems. We need your help to make it happen! So we are inviting individuals, community groups, schools, businesses and particularly farmers to pledge to tackle priority issues for nature’s recovery.
Become a nature champion
Please choose 1 or more activities from below and help save nature.
We call this, “Creating a Pledge for Nature”.
The more people who join the movement, the more pledges we can gather and the bigger the difference we can make together. Why not become a Nature Champion today?
This season’s activities
October to Decemeber 2020
Each season we will announce new calls-to-action that are aimed at tackling North Devon’s nature priorities. These seasonal activities have been decided in consultation with our conservation partners and local experts and are key actions that will help nature to recover. The current seasonal activities are below, please click on each image to find out more!
Nature friendly christmas
12 Steps to a Nature Friendly Christmas: Choose one or more of the 12 activities in our downloadable Christmas Nature Challenge sheet. Let us know which of the activities you are doing for nature by Creating a Pledge on our website and then share photos of your actions or completed challenge sheets on social media! Colder temperatures and wetter weather makes this time of year harder for wildlife so we hope this challenge will inspire you to get outdoors and think about what you can do for nature this Christmas.
Plant a native tree
The best time of year to plant trees is between November-March (Woodland Trust). Trees are vital for life on earth, harbour a high amount of wildlife, and can make a real difference in solving the Climate Emergency. Explore here for advice, guidance and grants for planting the right trees in the right places.
The North Devon Biosphere in partnership with Orchards Live and financially supported by the Devon County Council locality grants scheme and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (as part of the Pledge for Nature project) are offering small grants towards the creation and management of community orchards. Traditional orchards are in decline across Devon and are recognised for their important biodiversity and community value.
Save Your Soil
Soil is a combination of minerals, organic, matter, air, water and living organisms (Soil Association). However, our soils are degrading at an alarming rate and we need to preserve it to sustain life. As the wet winter weather comes in it's good to consider that well drained and well structured soils allow water to enter more quickly and therefore reduce the risk of run-off and erosion. Image: Soils leaving the UK Satellite Image
Install a bird box
Nestboxes are best put up during the autumn. Many birds will enter nestboxes during the autumn and winter, looking for a suitable place to roost or perhaps to feed. They often use the same boxes for nesting the following spring. Putting up a bird box on your house or in your garden or on your farm can help many bird species due to lack of natural nesting sites. Special designs will help birds like swifts which have undergone huge declines in the last 20 years. Causes of decline include lack of insect food and nest site loss.
Install a bat box
Devon is incredibly lucky to have some really special bats that you often don’t find find in the rest of the country. Devon Bat Group have recorded 16 species of British bats out of a potential 18, including Lesser and Greater Horseshoes, Nathusius Pipistrelles and Grey Long Eared bats. Devon supports such a significant proportion of UK bat species because of its mild climate, its diverse landscape with a complex pattern of different natural and farmed habitats for feeding and roosting, and its generally low levels of light pollution. Photo: Pipistrelle bat
Take part in research and recording of wildlife and habitats to help to increase our scientific knowledge. You can usually record sightings on an organisation's website or increasingly through specialised apps for your phone.
Volunteer for a local event
As well as events run by Pledge for Nature, we also encourage you to create your pledge today detailing the local volunteering event you have joined (or possibly created).
Give your hedge a few inches
Leave a stretch of hedge, however long or small, uncut for a year or two, and be rewarded by more flowers and berries for pollinators and birds. Or, if you are a farmer or contractor, simply raise the height of your flail by 10-15cm for the same effect. Wildlife will thank you and the hedge will remain thick, bushy and manageable. Try it and see!
To help nature’s recovery, you are welcome to pledge other activities - they do not need to be seasonal although together with our partners, we encourage you to consider those first for maximum impact.
Help for hedgehogs
Hedgehogs need our help! There are 3 things that you can do to help hedgehogs in your area: Survey, Take Action and Become a Hedgehog Champion! Can you pledge to create a hedgehog friendly area in your garden or farm by creating a log pile or compost heap, or making a hedgehog home or highway.
Create a wildflower patch
Use the advice to create a wildflower patch (a seed tray on your window, a patch on your lawn or a meadow on your lane verge or farm).
Create a wildlife pond
Big or small; creating a pond in your garden or farm is a great way of inviting wildlife including amphibians, birds and insects to your patch! Photo credit: Nick Withers
Create a bug haven
Insects pollinate three quarters of our food crops, as well as being the main food source for many birds, small mammals and fish. And yet, 41% of insects face extinction, let’s help them out!
Let a corner go wild
A wild patch in your garden, farm or business area can be crucial for wildlife. A bramble patch may have a blackbird or wren nesting. A pile of logs or stones could provide a refuge for slow worms or lizards. Having a wild patch can give creatures a place to relax without human disturbance.
What will you do?
5 steps to make all the difference
Choose your Activity
To start creating your pledge today, start by choosing an activity from the options above that suits your nature interests. You can create multiple pledges today but one-at-a-time by using the form.
Create a Pledge
Once you have decided what activity you would like to do, simply fill in the simple form on the Create a Pledge page. The more data you supply, the more good we can do. It takes < 1 minute to complete.
We will Review your Pledge
Once you have created your pledge and submitted the online form, our keen team will review your pledge and approve it within 48 hours so please bear with us.
View your Pledge on our Map
Once approved, your pledge will appear as a pin on our Pledge Map. If you have submitted multiple pledges, you will see multiple pledge pins on the map (nice work!).
Complete+Share your Pledge
Naturally, we would like as many people as possible to join the movement to Pledge for Nature. You can help by sharing your individual Pledge Page to your social media channels & encourage others to do the same. Thank you!
Help your local Biosphere
Make Devon a better place to live
Our Latest Stories
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.
Nov 1, 2020
Every month we like to give a summary of everything that has happened with the Pledge for Nature project. We love seeing your pictures and hearing about the actions you are taking to help nature to thrive! We list everyone who has taken action for nature during October and what events and nature to look out for in November.
To Our Biosphere
Make Space for Nature
More Community Action
Protect North Devon's Future