Planet Suffolk – thanks for making a difference!

Common carder bumblebee - Nick Upton

Planet Suffolk, an initiative launched by BBC Radio Suffolk in February of last year, sought to make our county the greenest in the country by rallying and inspiring people to do something on their own doorsteps to benefit wildlife.

Planet Suffolk, which ran until December 2020, became a welcome morning feature across our airwaves every Friday from just before the beginning of lockdown in March 2020 on the Mark Murphy morning Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Suffolk. Mark Murphy’s aim was to inspire people to make a difference in Suffolk whether it be from doing something in the garden for wildlife, to going on a litter pick locally, to prompting people to look at how they live and to consider small lifestyle changes. In launching Planet Suffolk Marks told viewers that “2020 was the year for change” and that “there was enough talk” encouraging people to tune in and do more. Inviting Suffolk Wildlife Trust to join them each week, BBC Radio Suffolk and the Trust have promoted a whole host of achievable projects across the year.  

Michael Strand, our Community fundraising Manager, represented Suffolk Wildlife Trust each week, helping people realise the potential that their gardens and green spaces have to help local wildlife and has been giving advice over the radio, with help from Mark. From discussing how to make simple garden ponds from upcycled resources, to encouraging people to create hedgehog homes and highways, to making stag beetle stacks, Michael and Mark have not only discussed these with listeners but has also been actively creating these in their own gardens too, alongside listeners.

In an unprecedented year which resulted in people spending more time than ever in their homes and gardens, Planet Suffolk arrived at a time when people were seeking to do more in the spaces around them. Michael explains that “a weekly Friday slot on Mark Murphy’s breakfast show gave Suffolk Wildlife Trust a chance to engage with people across the county and encourage everyone to adopt wildlife friendly practices in their garden and local community space.”  

Often it is all too tempting to tidy gardens and green spaces to look more aesthetically pleasing and this can impact our wildlife negatively. Wildlife like “messy” spaces such as piles of leaves left on lawns and in borders, log piles in corners, moss-lined walls and paving stones, and for grass to be left to grow long in between cutting or to not be cut at all.  Planet Suffolk reminded people to not only consider wildlife whilst looking for activities to do around the home and garden but to go one step further, and to actively create habitats for wildlife. As we face wildlife declines and habitat loss in Suffolk and the UK, the green spaces that our gardens comprise are vitally important as a resource to our local wildlife.

Michael Strand - Receiving BBC Radio Suffolk Make a Difference Award

Michael Strand - Receiving BBC Radio Suffolk Make a Difference Award 

Earlier this year, Suffolk Wildlife Trust was awarded BBC Radio Suffolk’s Making a Difference certificate for our efforts during 2020 to connect people with local wildlife. Mark tells us “It has been fabulous to work with Michael and the team at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, their expertise has encouraged thousands of our listeners to make room for wildlife where they live”.

Upon receiving the award Michael said that “we’re thrilled to receive the award which has given everyone at the Trust a welcome boost for 2021” and we would like to thank BBC Radio Suffolk and Mark Murphy and his team for inviting us onto the morning breakfast show and for creating a wonderful platform to provide people with information.” 

If you would like more information on BBC Radio Suffolk’s campaign, why not head to the Planet Suffolk Facebook page here or check out our gardening for wildlife pages below.