Mendip Wildlife Links will use nature to bring communities together and protect local wildlife
21st February - Somerset Wildlife Trust is pleased to launch a new phase of its work in East Mendip. Building on the success of the work carried out over the last few years, Mendip Wildlife Links aims to connect communities, farmers and other landowners in the area to the wonderful habitats and wildlife found there, and inspire them to work together to secure a long term future for the county’s species. The project will include an extensive event programme, offering all age groups the opportunity to participate in nature based activities whether practical volunteering, a health and wellbeing activity or a creative skills workshop.
Pippa Rayner, Engaging with Nature Coordinator for Mendip Wildlife Links says:
“There are so many amazing places in East Mendip and this project will give people more opportunities to really discover them and to connect with the wildlife that they support. In order for our wildlife to have a future, we need people to look after what’s on our own doorstep, and empower themselves to make a positive change. In offering a really wide range of activities we are hoping to engage not just with those already passionate about wildlife, but also those who need a starting point for a more nature-filled life, which perhaps fits in with their existing interests.”
The Mendip Wildlife Links programme of events starts now and runs until December. Activities include training local volunteers and landowners in habitat management and restoration techniques such as coppicing, pond creation and scrub clearance. The project’s Conservation Officer Lila Morris will also be providing advice to landowners that wish to manage their land with wildlife in mind, and will be working with the Engaging with Nature Coordinator to hold nature walks, bird identification sessions and even Tai Chi in the great outdoors!
The Mendip Wildlife Links project is funded by Somerset County Council and Aggregate Industries through the Torr Works Environmental Enhancement Fund.
Jolyon Chesworth, Nature and Wellbeing Manager for Somerset Wildlife Trust says:
“Not only do we see this new phase of work benefiting wildlife long-term, it can also have a huge positive effect on people too. There is no escaping the growing evidence that contact with the natural environment can boost people’s health and wellbeing, and that a healthy landscape means a healthy community. We hope to get this message further out into the public forum and continue to build people’s enthusiasm for protecting our county’s wildlife and the places they call home.”
One of the events in the programme that’s not to be missed is Wildlife and Wonder at Asham Wood on 5th May, supported by the Hanson in the Community Fund. The day will involve a day of woodland crafts, workshops, walks and nature connection with the opportunity to carve your own spoon, learn about the calls of woodland birds or try Tai Chi in this beautiful but little-known woodland.
If you would like to find out more about the Mendip Wildlife Links project and the events taking place, please visit: www.somersetwildlife.org/MendipWildlifeLinks and you can follow @SWTMendips on Twitter.