Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is celebrating the incredible drive of community groups across Yorkshire to defend and protect their local wildlife.
Across the county, groups have planned, restored and planted among their local spaces to make them kinder and greener places for their wildlife; from wildlife-friendly community allotments, to wildflower meadows in collaboration with local Parish Councils, and a local rugby team dedicating 30% of their site to wildlife habitat by 2030.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust launched #TeamWilder in April – its most ambitious community engagement programme in its 77-year history. The aim is to empower communities across Yorkshire to be the difference nature needs and help them to take action for wildlife where they live. The response has been incredible, with almost 400 individuals, community groups and educators signing up to take part.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Community Engagement Manager, Jo Rawson said, “We’ve seen a wonderfully diverse range of communities getting involved, carrying out a wide variety of actions to benefit wildlife on their doorsteps. The energy and enthusiasm have been truly inspiring and the benefit to people that #TeamWilder is having is really moving.”
The Friends of Alderman Kneeshaw in Hull facilitated a resident-led project to create a community allotment on the park. Using timber rescued from landfill and soil donated through Hull City Council’s green waste scheme, and employing the services of a local Community Interest Company to support the project, the group encouraged local people to take the lead. This autumn, the group will be taking their action for nature to the next level, engaging local schools, adult care organisations and families from the surrounding area to create pollinator strips around the park.
Debbie, part of the Friends of Alderman Kneeshaw Group, said, “What we’re doing via this project is building community cohesion using gardening and nature-focused activities as our tool. Becoming part of #TeamWilder and having that support from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is enabling us to make nature relevant to the neighbourhood – it’s about making action for nature really simple and accessible to the everyday person.”
West Hull Rugby Club involved their community and grounds keepers to draw up plans which show a commitment to dedicating 30% of their site to wildlife habitat by 2030. This change is happening at pace, with a woodland walk being created, the perimeter hedge line left to fill out and now being cut to a more natural, wavy line rather than in hard, straight lines, mowing regimes relaxed around pitch edges, and a large area of long grass and wildflowers being allowed to develop to the rear of the site.
Community involvement has been strong, with a huge number of people turning out to take part in a site litter pick in the spring and a variety of community groups supporting tree planting days.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are holding a #TeamWilder Empowerment Day on Sunday 15 October at The Caravel, North Landing, Flamborough, YO15 1BJ, 11am – 4pm for anyone wanting to set up their own groups locally. There will be a wide range of inspiring presentations and workshops to help you to get started, from planning your actions with your community, to gardening for wildlife and leading a litter pick. For those groups planning their next steps there will be a workshop on finding funding and a presentation on creating wildflower meadows. Families are very welcome and there will be hands-on activities such as making wildflower seed balls, bird feeders and a beach clean on North Landing.
The event is free, with a small donation for some activities and booking is essential. Book online to secure your place at www.ywt.org.uk/team-wilder/events
To find out more about #TeamWilder and sign up to get involved visit www.ywt.org.uk/team-wilder