Spreading the word on wildlife

I’m not that happy chatting – I’d rather write. But I got asked to do a few minutes on BBC radio Devon (Sat 19 March, Good Morning Devon) on the Get Wild About Devon scheme. And of course I couldn’t say no… What was it all about? The scheme provided an experienced naturalist who walks round the property with you, pointing out wildlife you can highlight to your guests. That information got put into a map and PDF file for web/print out so you can give it to guests and use it in your marketing. We’ll be putting ours in our accommodation and on our website. The idea is to help businesses see the economic potential in their local wildlife (and hopefully so to cherish it).

… so I had to get up quietly and hope the kids didn’t come storming downstairs in the middle. It went fine I think (no, I haven’t played it back online) but I don’t think we really empowered people to do much as a result. The scheme was a pilot and seems likely to remain so, given current financial contraints, unless another grant can be found. But there’s nothing to stop people doing it for themselves. Try your county wildlife trust for advice, your local Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), a naturalist group sourced through your county wildlife recorder (again – ask your county wildlife trust). Or if you’re in Devon just look up the list of participants on Visit Devon, find the business nearest you, and give them a ring. I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you more about what worked for them and how you could make something similar work for you.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of our wildlife today – a dunnock’s nest in pendulous sedge spotted when the bird exploded out nearly from under my pruning shears. She was back within a few minutes. We’ll be keeing an eye on the nest and trying to minimise disturbance.