Actions for Animals

 
Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa

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Category: Help a species: Pollinators - Bees, Butterflies

  1. Don't Mow in May - join Plantlife for this citizen science project

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    Good news for those of you who don’t like mowing your lawn and would love a really good reason not to bother.

    Well, mowing the lawn could attract 10 x the number of bees that you would usually get!

    Give bees a Super Lawn!

    Lawns cut every four weeks are being called “super lawns” and it’s reckoned that they attract 4,000 bees a day on average.

    However, those cut regularly to keep them neat and tidy bring in just an average of 400 bees a day.

    This is a HUGE difference. 


    Take part in a citizen science project:  Every Flower Counts!

    This has all been worked out by charity Plantlife.   They’ve got an Every Flower Counts survey.  Nearly 2,000 households were asked how often they mow their lawns; and then they were asked to count the number of wild flowers in one squared patches.

    Daisies were most abundant on lawns, followed by white clover and the violet coloured selfheal.

    Asking those surveyed to count 24 different wildflowers, Plantlife could work out how much nectar the whole garden produced – and how many bees that could support.

    And that’s where they discovered that one in five lawns called super lawns would entice ten times more bees.

    Let your lawn grow

    So Plantlife advise that we keep sections of our lawn long so that we can support wild flowers such as oxeye daisy, field scabious, knapweed and even orchids.   Daisies and white clover are short stemmed wild plants – they produce more flowers if cut back once a month.

    So some parts of your lawn should have a monthly cut to boost short plants.  And we should all put aside an area for longer grass – what Plantlife call a Mohican haircut!

    Bees and butterflies need different sorts of flowers.  Combine them, and the lawns in the survey produced 50lb of nectar a day – and that’s enough to support over 2 million honeybees.

    Count your flowers and report in 

    So our task is to work out which parts of the lawn to short cut, which to leave long, and then to put the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa and listen to the birdsong!  

    And one final thing to do....

    Count the flowers on your lawn and find out how many bees it can support!  The more flowers in your lawn, and the more types of flowers you've got, the more bees you'll be able to support.

    Every Flower Counts takes palce from 23rd to 31st May 2020 so let Plantlife know your results!

    From your results, Plantlife can calculate a National Nectar Index to show how lawns in Britain are helping to feed pollinators.  And they'll show you how you can increase the number of flowers in your lawn! 

    #NoMowMay

     

  2. Please see this video from Gravitas - how nature is reclaiming its spaces due to the Coronavirus

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    Sometimes you see something on the internet or on television that really hits you hard and makes a point extremely well.

    I saw this video, this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with you.  Please share it with everyone you can.

    The ultimate message is that we SHARE this planet.  It demonstrates how dominant the human race has become - and how selfish.   I am not going to tell you anymore about it - please just watch it for yourself.   Here it is:



    Thank you, Gravitas.

    Please vow to make a difference today. 
    Find out how to reduce your impact on the earth's resources here.

     

     

     

     

  3. Road verges - a silver lining? says Plantlife

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    If I’m driving along in my car, I always find the wildlife flowers on our verges to be very uplifting to see.

    And whilst I’ve been having my daily one walk during the lockdown because of the coronavirus, I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the wild flowers which are about.

    Please give Plantlife your support with their Road Verge Campaign

    Please give Plantlife your support with their Road Verge Campaign


    Plantlife is a charity that works nationally and internationally to raise the profile of our wild flowers, plants and our fungi.  They support our wildlife and they are vital.  Their colour and character give us cheer and brighten up our day and journeys.

    It’s really important to protect our wild flowers, our plants and our fungi.  And our roadsides have been much quieter of late, as lockdown is observed.  The drone of many councils’ mowers have also fall silent as councils may have reduced grass cutting down to the minimum required to maintain visibility and make sure our roads are safe.

    Plantlife hope that reduced cutting frequencies may help verge wildflowers to grow, flower and set seed.  Flowers such as the white campion, betony, greater knapweed and harebell, the chance to grow, flower and set seed. 

    The good news is that a more wildlife-friendly management regime will help tackle climate change.

    Flowers on a road verge are an uplifting sight


    Over 300 local authorities have now declared a climate emergency.   Reducing their cutting regimes, as recommended in Plantlife’s management guidelines, will also help councils bring down carbon emissions. 

    Hopefully it won’t be long before we can all get outside and enjoy the wild flowers along our roadside.  Meantime, please visit Plantlife’s website to see how you can support their “Support the road verge campaign.”

     

     

  4. Help people help wildlife - elephants

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    Here’s a great way to get involved and to help reduce the conflict between elephants and people.

    Sponsor a bee hive!

    In fact, you can get your name – or theirs – on a beehive and help save elephants. 

    For a 29 year old called Moses who was deeply passionate about wildlife conservation and rescuing animals, determined that human-wildlife conflict was the most pressing problem in his home area of Tanzania.

    Elephants from nearby reserves were entering farmlands and causing considerable damanage, destroying crops. 

    A solution to the elephants destroying crops was to install 20 bee hive fences along a border next to the Arusha National Park.  

    Moses founded and sorted out a NGO (Alert for Endangered Wildlife Species or AFeWiS). 

    Placing bee hives strategically along the perimeters of farmland surprisingly keeps elephants at bay.  Elephants are afraid of bees, you see,

    Each beehive costs $50.

    Enter Nikela, run by Margrit and Russ. It’s a small US based non-profit organization. And its mission is to “to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.  Nikela helps those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species.”

    So far they have given over $40,000 to 22 projects in 8 countries in Africa. All to those protecting and preserving endangered African wildlife species, all funded by donations from people all around the world!

    Donate now to Nikela and help Moses help the elephants

    And they sent Moses $500 to get the bee hives off the ground. And there’s good news about the effectiveness of the project, with examples such as this one.

    Mr Baraka reported that over 50 elephants from a neighbouring reserve were entering his fields and destroying his food crops.

    Beehives were mounted – and the number of elephants rapidly dropped to 25.  Within 4 weeks, Mr Baraka was reporting that no elephants had come into his fields, saving his crops.  This means they will have food this season.

    More farmers are asking for beehive fences now and you can sponsor a beehive to be included in a fence.  In fact, you can also sponsor an entire fence – about 10 beehives make up an effective fence in most cases.

    Can Bees be the “Peacemakers” and solve human-wildlife conflicts with Elephants?

    You can dedicate your beehive in honour or in memory of someone.

    So go ahead, what are you waiting for? Remember, to note the exact spelling of the name you wish to see on the beehive, or beehives.

    Sponsor a Bee Hive here and you’ll help reduce conflict between people and elephants.   If you’re not sure, take a look at comments from donors – we can all make a difference 

    Sign up for Nikela’s newsletter

     

  5. Rare Wildlife and Plants are Blooming in Welsh Meadows

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    Thanks to a conservation scheme, rare wildlife and plants are coming back to meadows in Wales!

    Since the 1930s, meadows have been vanishing from the landscape there.  In fact, 97% of wildflower meadows were lost due to heavy fertiliser use and early hay crops – which also meant that 63% of butterflies disappeared as well.

    However, the National Trust Wales have been working hard to reverse this disappearance.

    Last year, the charity created 40 acres of new meadows across the country.   They care for 582.2 acres of meadow.  And good news!   Amongst them was Chirk Castle, where 6 hectares of herb rich meadows were re-established.

    Wildlife flowers such as the yellow rattle – not seen since World War Two – have been sighted in Chirk, in North Wales.  There’s been a 50% increase in yellow rattle and eyebright plants!

    Wildflowers are blooming at Chirk Castle in WalesChirk Castle in Wales

    The idea is to form a basic habitat.   The Trust have already noticed an increase in the numbers of insects and small mammals in the grass on the ground;  and kestrels in the skies above them, hunting them.  

    Green-winged orchids are also blossoming at Bodnant Garden near Colwyn Bay.

    Farmers are also benefitting.  Allowing their hay crops to grow wild for longer before they cut them means that they get more minerals and fibre. 

    A win-win, all round then!