Objective is now to link up formal open space with green lung areas and making information accessible. This initiative to be underpinned by Environmental/Green Lung Policy.
The following article is being published in the Chronicle regarding the Brightlingsea Nature Network:-
“Do you remember Housemartin nests under the eaves right along New street? Or hundreds of Moths in your car headlights at night? Or hedgehogs snuffling about in your garden? Then you probably won’t be surprised about the media reports of a sixty percent decline in our native wildlife.
Brightlingsea Nature Network is being set up to try to slow down the losses. By linking up our wild places and volunteers with local experts and organisations, landowners and businesses we hope to champion a nature rich Brightlingsea.
Brightlingsea Town Council is supporting us, as part of their Green Lung initiative, to plant a native wildflower meadow stretching from Lower Park road down to the sea wall behind the leisure village. We hope this will create a wildlife corridor which will connect the lane with The Lozenge nature area.
Town Mayor, Councillor Graham Steady said “ This is another example of the town council working in partnership with the local community to improve our environment. I look forward to the fruition of the exciting plans that are being formulated”
Supported by Margaret Stone we will be collecting your nature memories and artefacts for a wild Brightlingsea exhibition at the new museum later next year. A big event in 1963, which my Dad remembers, was the 40 foot whale being washed up on the salt marshes. Quite exciting until it started to smell and had to be buried under what I call the whale fields off Mill Road. You can see the lady in the photo is covering her nose.
Angie Davey remembers walking down her garden one year to see a grass snake had half swallowed a frog, it saw someone was coming and spat the frog out which hopped back into the pond. “That’s nature for you” says Angie.
Brightlingsea Nature Network will also be supporting residents to have a go at making a wildlife friendly area in their own gardens. Our newsletter and facebook page will be looking at micro ponds, log-piles, plants and flowers loved by the bees and butterflies. It’s always a good idea to remember with a wildlife garden that it’s not just about the pretty things – often nature just needs to be left undisturbed to do it’s own thing which can be as simple as letting a pile of leaves gather in a corner, so that insects and worms will move in. These tiny and less popular creatures need to be encouraged because they are the real foundation of the food chain. If you want to hear Robins or Blackbirds singing from your fence or see Hedgehogs, Frogs and Toads even Badgers – don’t be too tidy! They all need insects and worms to eat.
See what happens in your garden when you leave a little pile of leaves, some logs, soil and stones undisturbed in the corner. You might be surprised!
This brings me around to our second project, Hedgehog Highways, which was suggested to me by one of the All Saints Church wild cemetery volunteers. According to hedgehogstreet.org “Hedgehogs travel around one mile every night through our parks and gardens in their quest to find enough food and a mate. We now know that one of the main reasons why hedgehogs are declining in Britain is because our fences and walls are becoming more and more secure, reducing the amount of land available to them.” To start the ball rolling with the Brightlingsea Nature Network we are encouraging residents to make a 13cm by 13cm hole in their fence or a tunnel underneath. This will allow any hedgehog to pass through more gardens and find more food in the town. In return we will be giving away a hand-made terracotta ‘Brightlingsea hedgehog highways’ plaque to nail up next to the first 50 holes you make.
To volunteer with Brightlingsea Nature Network, tell us a wildlife related local story or register your hedgehog highway holes you can contact us though The Parish Hall in Victoria Place, via our facebook page or at email@example.com”