Public bodies can increase understanding of biodiversity conservation issues through formal and informal education, providing advice to different sectors, and by encouraging community engagement.
- Develop cross-sector initiatives to work with local communities and schools on managing their local environment. Examples include:
- Planting a community orchard.
- Developing local food projects that also provide space for wildlife.
- Providing areas for wildlife to thrive alongside school sports grounds.
- Leaving wild areas in churchyards for native plants which will attract invertebrates and birds.
- EcoSchools – schools can sign up to the international programme for Eco-Schools. Themes include School Grounds and Biodiversity. (Link to Ecoschools page)
- Manage hospital gardens to include areas for wildlife. Good quality management of green space will attract butterflies, bees and birds, promote patient healing and reduce stress and can even heighten satisfaction with the healthcare provider (Paper for conference, Plants for People International Exhibition Floriade 2002 Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D.) To read the paper click here >. Jules Pretty (author and Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex has worked extensively on health and biodiversity >
Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project and the Eden-Rose Coppice
The Eden-Rose Coppice Trust in Sudbury works in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to turn run-down woodland or meadows into conservation areas, thus having a positive effect on lives stressed by critical illness. The Stour Valley Volunteers have been involved with the Coppice for some years. The Eden-Rose Coppice Trust was the 2015 winner of the Greenest Community Project.
This special site by the River Stour is the first site of this kind in the UK in the UK where woodlands are used as a free sanctuary for people living with cancer or terminal illnesses. They provide a safe and natural retreat for patients, their families, volunteers, caregivers and nurses and gives them an opportunity to escape, reflect and connect with nature. The site is managed by volunteers and is open to anyone, including schools, when not in use by a patient.
The mainly wooded site has been transformed over the past few years.
- Several hybrid poplar trees have been removed which has opened up glades for butterflies and insects.
- Log lined paths have been created.
- A pond, a wetland area and a grassy area to sit and reflect have been created.
- A hedgerow has been planted by the Stour Valley Volunteers and they under-planted the woodland area with native trees and shrubs.
- The Stour Valley Volunteers have built a boardwalk and improved a pathway to enable easy access onto the site.
Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) Countryside Service
The team manages three Local Nature Reserves, two Churchyard County Wildlife Sites and helps manage a local Roadside Nature Reserve. The team manage their meadows, wetlands, ponds and woodland areas to maintain their wildlife interest with support from the surrounding community, including volunteers, local school children and Junior Rangers.
As a result, wildlife is thriving on these district council owned sites, the public is learning about biodiversity and MSDC is demonstrating its care for biodiversity.
Suffolk County Council and Eco-Schools
Suffolk County Council promotes and supports the international Eco-schools programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.
Schools follow a simple 7-step process which helps them to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity. Children are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they lead the eco-committee and help carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of their school. Through consultation with the rest of the school and the wider community, it is the pupils that decide which environmental themes they want to address and how they are going to do it.
Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, providing schools with all the evidence they need to really shout about their environmental success. Schools work towards gaining one of three awards - Bronze, Silver and the prestigious Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. Over 200 Suffolk schools have registered with Eco-Schools and 87 have achieved awards (www.eco-schools.org.uk)