Back from the Brink has been full steam ahead since we launched in November 2017. Winter is a time of year that’s thought to be quiet in the conservation world as a lot of species are in hibernation or hidden away. However, we’ve been busy within Back from the Brink, with all of our projects across the country preparing species’ habitats - getting them prepared for the spring when everything starts to kick off!
Since we launched, we’ve been overwhelmed with how many people have been showing their support for the work we’re doing across England. Through volunteering, sharing our messages across our social media channels (@naturebftb) and donating towards the work we’re doing for threatened species. There have been so many events where volunteers have been a crucial part to the work our project staff are trying to achieve.
Let’s take a look at what’s been happening…
Our Gems in the Dunes project, based on the Sefton Coast, have been busy working with the local community to clear scrub from the dunes – creating the open habitat the rare species found there so desperately need. From the Sand Lizard to the Northern Tiger Dune Beetle – there are many species that will benefit from this work.
If you live locally to the Sefton Coast then why not check out our new group page for the project found on our Back from the Brink Facebook page.
Our Roots of Rockingham project within Rockingham Forest have been busy with bird surveys and workshops, spreading the word of their Back from the Brink project within the local community.
Volunteers have been working hard in the cold down in Devon helping the threatened Narrow-headed Ant by creating more habitat for this incredible mini-beast! It’s all right though – with bonfires and jacket potatoes to keep warm they’ve had a fantastic time, despite the weather!
Similar work has also been occurring on our Lesser Butterfly Orchid project too with traditional methods of land management being used in an attempt to recreate the processes, and therefore habitat, that we're losing that certain species rely on.
Within our social media we’ve had some great highlights.
#NationalNestBoxWeek took James, our Communications Manager, to the Dearne Valley and Northumberland to see the Willow Tit and Pine Marten projects.
His whirlwind visit included a Willow Tit volunteering party with project officer Sophie Pinder. Locals were strapping deadwood to trees - Willow Tits are the only UK tit that excavates its own nest hole – they will not use typical nest boxes. By strapping deadwood to trees, the project is hopefully supplying the slightly rotten wood that Willow Tits will want to dig into and nest in. The project is also experimenting with supplying nest boxes packed full of sawdust – hopefully emulating soft, rotten wood and allowing the birds to feel like they’ve done the hard work of excavating an entire nest hole.
On the Pine Marten project James spent time with project officer Kevin O’Hara visiting and re-baiting camera traps in the hope of concrete evidence of Pine Marten presence. Did we get a photo? Well, wait for our next podcast to find out…
Another fantastic # is our new #craftfromthebrink which will be running for the next month. It may be cold outside, but it’s the perfect excuse to get your creative materials out and produce some beautiful pieces of work.
Here at Back from the Brink, we love to see how people express their love for nature. We’ve had some wonderful pictures sent in to us of our species. If you’d like to be a part of it and help us promote the animals, plants and fungi we aim to save – why not take a look at the project page on our website, get some inspiration and get creative! Pop your photos up on social media and don’t forget to tag us - @naturebftb and #craftfromthebrink!
(Above image - design by teacosyfolk.co.uk)
Keep an eye on our social media for constant updates on the projects too. We have a wonderful Twitter page with news from across the whole project, a Facebook page with groups for those of you who want to get involved on a more local level, Instagram for those who love beautiful photos and also - Youtube! Pop your feet up and hear about back from the Brink through a range of voices. There’s something for everyone. Watch those spaces!
Coming up over the next few months – spring is where it starts to come alive!
Our Colour in the Margins project have been working with the Kew Millennium Seed Bank to produce seed for their arable plant species. We can’t wait to see how that work goes!
Across the country, our landscape projects such as Limestone’s Living Legacies and Dorset’s Heathland Heart will be doing a lot of work maintaining and creating the habitats their species require for the summer.
Our Field Cricket project will be running Cricket Tickling events – a fantastic and fun way of helping this incredibly rare species.
The exciting news from Rockingham is the preparation work being done for the re-introduction of the Chequered Skipper! This species has been extinct in England since 1976 so we look forward to telling you all about how that goes. It’s going to be one of the most incredible conservation stories of 2018! To kick start it all off, the project recently featured in a Guardian article written by Matt Shardlow, available here.
For updates on all of the above - keep an eye on our website and social media (@naturebftb) to keep up to date with these incredible stories.
We’re looking forward to the next few months and we hope that you enjoy the work we do. If you’d like to support us, then why not volunteer or donate to help us save England’s most threatened species. Until next time….
Emma Burt & James-Harding Morris.
Community and Outreach Officer & Communications Manager.