There are an amazing range of wildlife projects across Suffolk. Set up and run by inspiring individuals, community groups or environmental organisations, the common theme among these projects are the people. This film is celebrating the power of individuals and the impact of this collective action for wildlife. Please find below more information about these projects, just some of the individuals involved and the organisations that support them.
Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve: In 2015 local naturalist Dr Adrian Cooper set up Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve. The project encourages local people to have at least three square yards of their back gardens and/or allotments devoted to wildlife friendly plants as well as ponds, bird feeders, hedgehog homes and much else. Today, there are over 1,300 local people actively involved. Together, they have created a network of green corridors and small oases for local wildlife. Added together, those small green spaces amount to almost an entire football pitch. In 2017, they joined the National Biodiversity Network. The following year, they set up their own Citizen Science Group. Soon afterwards, they joined the European Citizen Science Association where they have already made their influence known. To learn more check out their facebook page here, or their citizen science forum, here.
Bobbits Lane Toad Patrol: In 2006 local naturalists established the Bobbits Lane toad patrol in Ipswich. Every year many local volunteers, backed by the Greenways Project and Ipswich Wildlife Group, help toads to cross the perilous road to reach their breeding pond unharmed. Thousands of toads have been saved by volunteers since the project began, and Gerry is one of many dedicated toad patrol volunteers that has helped. The patrol runs between February and April and you can get involved with the Bobbits Lane patrol by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The toads on roads project is coordinated nationally by UK charity Froglife. Over 160 community-led toad patrols now exist across the country and you can find your nearest one, or set up your own, by heading to the froglife website.
Save Our Suffolk Swifts & Aldeburgh Amazing Swifts: In 2014 Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Bird Group set up Save Our Suffolk Swifts to raise awareness and promote action for these amazing birds. The SOS Swifts campaign has been a catalyst for a whole host of local community-led swift projects that have been set up in towns and villages across the county. Aldeburgh’s Amazing Swifts is one such project and was launched two years ago by Alan and Christine. The town has fully embraced action for swifts with many individuals, churches and local businesses installing nest boxes, displaying ‘welcome home’ flags, beer mats and banners and attending an annual ‘Welcome Back’ party. Find out more about SOS Swifts and Aldeburgh's Amazing swifts on their websites.
Ipswich Hedgehog Project: In 2016 Suffolk Wildlife Trust launched its campaign to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK. With thanks to funding from National Heritage Lottery and British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the project has been inspiring community groups, land managers, schools and businesses to create a network of hedgehog-friendly habitat across the town. Central to this aim is the work of the Trust’s 50+ Hedgehog Champions. Peter and Daisy are just two of our Hedgehog Champions that have been doing a brilliant job in raising hedgehog awareness in their local area. Peter has been working with his school grounds team to create hedgehog nesting areas, including a rather high-end hedgehog house built as a replica of one of their school buildings. Daisy is a wildlife ambassador at Sidegate Primary School and volunteer for Poppy's Creche. She has created some brilliant leaflets, window stickers and keyrings to help raise hedgehog awareness. You can find out more about the project by heading to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust website here and by reading the hedgehog blog here.