Birds of Conservation Concern Red List

According to the RSPB, there are 67 species of British birds now on the Birds of Conservation Concern Red List, more than ever before. The Red List are those birds that need urgent conservation action if their falling populations are to survive our environmental emergency.

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Benefits of access to nature

We know that a walk in the countryside is good for us. Physical activity in the fresh air, be it walking, running or conservation work, has been shown to improve our well-being; it can even be an aid in the treatment of mental illness. Some analysis suggests that such physical activity outdoors can reduce the physiological symptoms of stress.

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The benefit of floods

We are too inclined to view floods negatively. We assess them in terms of the disruption they cause or the financial cost of repairing the damage they do to our property. But in natural ecosystems, such as our park, floods play an important role in maintaining biodiversity.

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Second Wednesday

Tomorrow will be the second Wednesday of the month and FoSCP’s first work party of the year. Come and join us; come and help us look after the park and its wildlife.

The Met Office says it will be cold, there is always a chance of rain and we know it will be muddy but the company is good, the conversation enlightening and there will be coffee and biscuits at half time. We meet at 9.30am in the car park, wellied and waterproofed, and we work until midday. New volunteers will be very welcome.

Plastic pollution

We pick up plastic trash around the park almost every day. Plastic is an environmental problem that we must take seriously; here is a video made by the UN that clearly explains the extent of the problem.

The whole thing

 “It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars.”   David Attenborough

Our park doesn’t have snow leopards or white rhinos. Our rarities are small and fragile: water voles, pondweeds, dragonflies zipping past so suddenly they make you jump, a visiting marsh tit, a linnet singing in the trees, little bottom-feeding fish. Then there are the hundreds of flowering plants, thousands of invertebrates and probably tens of thousands of species of fungi hidden away where we can’t see them.

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Crackers!

Christmas crackers spill plastic trinkets onto your Christmas table every year. Nobody keeps them; who even remembers what fell out of their Christmas cracker last year?

It all ends up in landfill with the paper hats. The hats will biodegrade in a matter of weeks but nobody knows how long the cheap petrochemical-derived plastic dinosaurs and whistles will remain in the ground. The best estimates of the time it will take such plastics to biodegrade are anywhere between 5,000 years and never.

Here is Friends of the Earth’s thought provoking video about Christmas crackers.

Real or fake?

A lot of people are buying artificial Christmas trees in the belief that it benefits the environment, but environmentalists and energy analysts would beg to disagree. We need only look at a single element of the hundreds of thousands of artificial trees that will be put up and decorated this Christmas: they are all made of plastic.

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Another Tuesday work party

Tuesday’s work party was devoted to veteran oak tree 5549. We halo our old oaks; this means that we clear away the under-storey that competes for their light and nutrition and build barriers around them to reduce footfall over their roots. Hard work!

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