Go Wild on Wight

town & parish councils

Town and Parish councils and the NERC duty how do you FARE? If you are passionate about your area and part of your job is make sure that the community plays a full and active part in making it an even better place to live then the follownig could help...

The Island’s landscape and natural and historic environments provide the backdrop to our lives, and every time people are asked what they like the most about living on the Island the environment comes out top. Time spent in natural surroundings is known to promote a positive outlook on life and enhance our ability to cope with and recover from stress, illness and injury.

Nature is a catalyst for communities to come together – a local project can provide an opportunity to bring people together in a common aim, to share in a new experience and make friends. Involvement in a project to improve the wildlife of an area helps the community to develop respect and responsibility for their surroundings, and reduces problems of vandalism.

So what can a town or parish council do?

Find out what is there already

The Isle of Wight Local Records Centre can tell you

Email lrc@iow.gov.uk

You may have people living locally who are experts - birdwatchers or botanists for example - who can add to this information

Appreciate your local environment

Organise a walk round the parish taking in local viewpoints and interesting features. There are sure to be local people with a wealth of information or you can ask advice from the ecologists by emailing ecology@iow.gov.uk. Try this at different seasons for a year round view.

Some parishes have gone on to produce self guided trails and leaflets or interpretation boards see Brading  Freshwater, Totland, Whippingham, Wootton websites.

Record what is in your local area

National schemes like Springwatch, Autumnwatch and the Big Garden Birdwatch have encouraged people to take an interest in various species. Northwood has an online map of wildlife sightings.

Enhance your area

Once the community have become enthusiastic about their surroundings, encourage them to do more.

To do this you will need to develop a plan which

A good plan will motivate your community and help to bring in some funds to carry it out. Various sources of advice are available see www.wildonwight.co.uk

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