A Mountain of a Problem…

“A child born today will see an Everest largely free of glaciers within their lifetime.”

Would this be the case if global warming wasn’t ‘a thing’? Absolutely not.

Is this ok? Absolutely not.

Will it make a difference? Absolutely, yes.

Thousands of organisms rely on glaciers as their ecosystem. No glaciers equals a huge loss in some very important organisms, both micro and macroscopic.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but I just cannot understand for the life of me why this is not at the forefront of news. Too frustrating for words really…. So I’ll just write a whole paragraph on it…

Glaciers reveal clues about global warming. For example, how much does our atmosphere naturally warm up between Ice Ages? And how does human activity affect the climate? Glaciers are incredibly sensitive to temperature fluctuations following climate change and direct glacier observation may help answer these questions. Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been shrinking at unprecedented rates. Many scientists believe this massive glacial retreat relates back to the Industrial Revolution, which began around 1760. The hideous fact is that several ice caps, glaciers and ice shelves have disappeared altogether in this century, with many retreating so rapidly that they may vanish within just a matter of decades…

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Aaaaaand Relax – Mindfulness in Nature

With the risk of sounding like a middle aged hippy (who has a penchant for making sock monkeys out of dog hair… and indeed wassailing…) I hands down believe that submerging ones self in nature, be it in a small garden, or on the wild moors, has bountiful benefits for our mental and physical welling. The incredible combination of touching tree bark whilst listening to the bird song, or laying in a field and touching the grass around you (calm down, John Keats…) has always been my anxiety cure of choice. Perhaps this is why I’ve found moving to London so challenging? Richmond Park, although stunning, has nothing on the richly biodiverse habitats of the South Coast.. BUT, this is what has got me thinking recently (steady…)

I am the project officer (woooo!) for ‘Citizen Fish’, a new project initiated by the Thames Estuary Partnership which is aiming to create a citizen science environmental monitoring programme for the Thames Estuary. Part of what I want to achieve with this (and what the whole of the Thames Estuary Partnership is doing an amazing job of achieving – hats off to my boss) is changing peoples perspectives of the Estuary. People assume that the Thames (and most rivers and estuaries) is dirty, mucky, polluted etc… But no more my friends, no more! Sixty years ago, the Thames was declared biologically dead. Correct. Now it is one of the most biodiverse habitats in Europe! With over 126 fish species choosing to reside there. Pretty incredible stuff, aye?

My point of the above paragraph is; If we can somehow get people (even city dwellers) to reconnect to our rivers and natural spaces on a personal level, people may start to VALUE natural spaces more, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship for humans and wildlife. Engaging with wild spaces has proven positive effects on human health and wellbeing. If people value their wild spaces e.g. the Thames, then they will be more inclined to CARE for them. Right?

So get out there, get paddling, get bug hunting and see if you give a hug to our endangered natural spaces. After all, it’s down to us to protect them!

 

Nurdle Cool at All…

Ok so a shit title from me.. Sorry. Desperate measures.

Ever heard of a Nurdle? Let me (no doubt) enlighten you… Nurdles are small plastic pellets that all plastic products are made from. Now, these bad boys on the beach and in the ocean are a real problem because toxic chemicals attach to them and wildlife are at risk of eating them. This causes thousands of wildlife deaths every year. See a nurdle? Pick it up to prevent a hurdle for wildlife.

For more information: https://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/events/gbbc?platform=hootsuite

 

 

Nature it up a Bit… Cheeky

When I wrote my first ‘Seasonal Jobs’ blog post last year, my intent was to create one every month (and we laaaaughed and laaaughed), but that didn’t happen because of who I am as a person. So anyway… Here is one now.

Now we are creeping towards late summer many changes are occurring in nature. Birds are seeking shady places to sit and hide while their feathers change in the summer moult. Birdsong will start to reduce and new young birds will be exploring their environment (gaaaw bless their cottons!) As for mammals and amphibians; Young frogs and newts will be leaving their birth ponds and moving further afield.

If you want to encourage moths into your garden (who wouldn’t…), planting sea lavender, buddleias, Centranthus rubber and Lychinis to attract day-flying moths will be a smashing start to your ‘mothy’ adventure. You can also help our furry flyers by planting night-flowering, nectar-rich plants. Oak, birch, willow, hawthorn and hornbeam will support many baba moth caterpillars, along with many ornamental garden plants.

Allow seed heads to develop on some plants as a food source for many birds and insects. On this seedy note (naughty…); Now is the time to start gathering wildflower seeds and scatter them for next year’s wildflower meadow that you’ll undoubtedly already be planning for….

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Housebuilding comes at the expense of our natural habits!

I was very happy to have my voice heard with a topic I feel very passionate about. Housebuilding on Devon greenfield sites has become a serious issue (and I suspect not just in Devon) and threatens the local wildlife by drastically reducing important habitats. These new houses are erected in their thousands and are sold for a minimum of £250,000 with a majority being upwards of £400,000!! Not exactly helping the housing crises!