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
january to March 2021
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!
Make a Nature Plan
A nature recovery plan should set out a medium-term plan for the creation of more nature rich habitats in our towns, villages, cities and the surrounding countryside. We suggest that each plan covers an initial five or ten-year period, although many of the projects that communities will want to start – such as planting oak trees for example - will take much longer to come to maturity.
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.
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). Cover photo credit: Gaia Trust.
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.
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
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).
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Fruit trees and orchards provide a benefit to wildlife including pollinators such as bees, and birds such as fieldfares will eat windfall apples and fruit.
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.
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
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
May 31, 2021
Every month we like to reflect and celebrate all the brilliant pledges that have taken place. Our Pledge for Nature Coordinator Bryony Paul left the project at the end of May so she has written a few words to reflect on the last 18 months and we look forward to welcoming her successor in June.
Apr 30, 2021
Every month we like to review the brilliant pledges tand events that have happened. This month we had Earth Day (theme 'restore our earth'), we visited Braunton to give out house martin nest cup materials and wildflower seeds and we have helped to support a new community rewilding project in South Molton. Barnstaple in Bloom also organised a brilliant 'Tidy the Taw' event. This month we have a special guest writer Bethany Lee (volunteer) who has written a section about how to enjoy the sunshine in an environmental responsible manner which ties in well with the Devon wide Naturally Healthy May campaign!
To Our Biosphere
Make Space for Nature
More Community Action
Protect North Devon's Future