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The knowledge base will help to provide you with information to complete your pledge or take an action for nature. We have included many links to conservation organisations across Devon who are already hard at work and are a great source of inspiration, guidance and related events.
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 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
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.
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.
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).
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!
There are already some fantastic groups set up by communities in response to the climate and ecological emergency. Please let us know if you are aware of any other groups in your area.
- Regen Braunton : Thinking globally and acting locally, we are meeting monthly to initiate and grow regenerative projects for the villages of Braunton and Knowle and the surrounding area.
- Barnstaple & District DWT Local Group, Uppacott team
- Sustainable Chulmleigh : We are a group of residents in and around Chulmleigh who care deeply about the environment in which we live and want to ensure its future for generations to come.
- Hatherleigh Environmental Forum : A new group set up, find them through the Hatherleigh Building Community Facebook page.
- Merton and Huish Wildlife Group: Interesting talks, walks and activities related to wildlife and the environment.
- South Molton: Grace for Pollinators: Community group set up to create habitats for pollinators. Find them on social media, Twitter: @Gr_aceProject Facebook: Grace South Molton Instagram: GraceforPollinators
- Winkleigh Environment Group : We meet monthly on the first Tuesday of every month. We are also present at the monthly market on 1st Saturday morning of the month.
What is a seasonal pledge?
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 by consulting with our conservation partners and local experts to decide on the key actions that will help nature to recover. The current seasonal activities are at the top of this Knowledge Base page.
How do I show my pledge has been completed?
Join our Pledge for Nature Facebook group or post your photos on Twitter or Instagram and tag #pledgefornature to share your photos of your completed pledges!
We'd love to see what you have been up to and if you can encourage your friends and family to pledge as well that's great!
Can I pledge to do a different season's activities?
Yes if you are pledging to complete an action for nature that isn't on the current pledge form please just select the 'other' option and fill in the description to let us know what pledge you are making.