Biodiversity needs local action on the ground. Local groups can be more effective than individuals in effecting positive change for biodiversity in their local area. Local community environmental groups, 'Friends of' groups, local scouts and guides, schools, Women's Institute, and youth groups all have a part to play.
Some suggestions of ways in which Community Groups can help the BAP process are to:
- Work with landowners and Local Authorities to manage local sites, roadside verges and green spaces for nature conservation. Encourage local authorities to declare Local Nature Reserves and then get involved in the management of these sites.
- Create wildflower meadows, field margins and ponds, or manage existing habitats more in a less intensive way such as community land and churchyards.
- Erect bird and bat boxes in suitable locations.
- Get involved in wildlife surveys in your local area, such as survey all of the veteran, road verges or hedgerows in your parish, or monitor the farmland bird population in your area or on your site.
- Apply for funding to undertake biodiversity projects.
- Plant appropriate native species of local origin in flowerbeds and public areas.
Abandon the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides or insecticides and try organic gardening instead.
- Reduce, re-use and recycle where possible.
- Increase awareness about priority habitats and species by running a local publicity campaign, doing press releases and radio interviews, and holding public meetings. You will make it more relevant to your area and local people by mentioning specific examples that local people know.
- Object to local planning applications that would damage biodiversity and support those which would enhance it.
There are plenty of organisations which can give advice on all aspects of habitat creation, management and nature conservation. They will help local groups and individuals to identify biodiversity action opportunities in their local area and carry them through. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
has produced a Habitat Creation Guide that also contains planting lists for projects and advice on habitat creation.