Despite the cuts to government funding, groups looking after wildlife conservation in the UK seem to be keeping very strong and active. From those going into the countryside clearing up our waterways and helping endangered species, to beekeeping, the number of people involved just seems to keep on increasing, which is very good news.
There are groups dotted all over the UK for pretty much anything you can think of now, from bat protection to woodland care. There are also a whole raft of products available to both commercial organisations and the general public, so if you are interested in conservation you can get involved in your own way.
Obviously the general public are not usually going to be interested in the higher end products such as bat detectors and erosion control, unless of course you are lucky enough to live in a river fronted house. For the vast majority of us who live in urban or village environments, there is still a lot we can do and lower end products we can buy. Things like bat boxes, birds nesting boxes and wild animal feed are all relatively cheap to buy and really do help our wildlife, as many of their natural habitats are being destroyed as new roads, houses and business parks are creeping ever further into the green belts.
There are also many things we can do which are free. For example keeping a compost heap not only provides you with fresh compost for the garden, but also a place where hedgehogs and toads can hibernate in the winter, also the insects which live in and around a compost heap are a great source of food for a wide range of native birds, and that’s just one small example. Although try not to use the big plastic compost bins, they don’t have the spaces available for hedgehogs to get in or birds to stand on top and eat the insects, a wooden opened top one is far better, and looks much nicer too!
If you are interested in getting involved in an organised conservation project, the wildlife trust is a good place to start or for international campaigns there’s the World Wildlife Fund. Although you don’t have to join an organised project, there are a wide range of conservation products available, from companies such as Wildcare, they also have guides to what can be done for specific species and it’s all relevant to the UK.
So if you are interested in looking after the wildlife in and around your local area, or in your garden, get involved with a conservation group, or just do your bit to help, remember that even by encouraging insects, this helps other species too, so even just a pile of old wood at the bottom of the garden can help, as it encourages beetles which the birds feed on.