Do your homework and turn over a new leaf in 2023 according to Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Even the most tired of clich├ęs are sometimes worth revisiting, and at this time of the year, many people are thinking about making a fresh start, turning over a new leaf or even starting a new chapter in their lives.– Writes Erin McDaid, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

While the statements may be a little cliched, when it comes to thinking about our relationship to the environment, the feeling of thinking about what we could do better or differently is certainly welcome.

There is no escaping the fact that our shared environment is suffering. It can be difficult to avoid being bombarded with negative news regarding everything from habitat destruction and species loss to air pollution and wildfires.

Do your part - you can help at a frog crossing like the one in Oxton (61703632)
Do your part – you can help at a frog crossing like the one in Oxton (61703632)

Anyone grappling with concerns about the future of the planet and its impact on it could do worse than consider a place to volunteer. If anything is likely to balance a bout of environmental anxiety, it’s that you’ve been known to at least do your homework.

While none of us can save the planet alone, our collective efforts can make a tangible difference in addition to making us feel better – definitely a win in anyone’s book.

Across the county, there are a host of local groups and projects desperate for extra help with everything from practical conservation work like tree planting to trash picking and from species monitoring to help with advertising and fundraising.

Do your homework - volunteering with local garbage collectors is a great option.
Do your homework – volunteering with local garbage collectors is a great option.

Here at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust we have the help of nearly 500 volunteers as we work to shape a wilderness county for all and whilst we are always looking for extra help we know we can’t do everything and we are keen to encourage more people to support the huge number of grassroots groups in your community and that also need help.

Groups such as Wild NG based in Sherwood, Nottingham which are raising awareness of local wildlife areas and have persuaded Nottingham City Council to try a new approach to weed control in a bid to stop the streets being sprayed with chemical herbicides.

Groups such as Canopy 2050 – a growing group of volunteers who are tree stewards, collecting seeds from indigenous trees and nurturing trees in-house until they are ready to be planted on specially selected sites across Broxtowe with a vision to increase urban tree canopy to 30%.

Do Your Homework - Getting stuck in as a volunteer can ease anxiety about environmental issues cpt Lizzie Mead (61703626)
Do Your Homework – Getting stuck in as a volunteer can ease anxiety about environmental issues cpt Lizzie Mead (61703626)

Throughout the county, there are many groups that are turning unused allotment lots into experimental wildlife areas.

Another great way to help is to join a local group of friends – like the one that has helped promote the value of wildlife in Sharphill Wood in Edwalton, for over a decade.

Other groups, such as the Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group focus on a specific species, and this amazing group has helped ensure reintroduced hazel grouse thrive since they were reintroduced into a number of north Nottinghashire woodlands.

On some weekends the Dormouse group will volunteer alongside the Treswell Wood Bird Ringing Group, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary – with volunteers dedicated to collecting valuable data on bird life at this stunning site near Retford, week in week out over the years no matter what. The weather was.

In and around Newark there are a large number of groups, from the Farndon Residents Environment Group and Potwell Dyke Grassland volunteers we have had the pleasure of or worked with over the years to improve native wildlife habitats to protect Newark green spaces who campaign to protect threatened green areas.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.  (2682719)
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. (2682719)

In addition to helping out at a local nature reserve or park, there are many other ways you can do for the environment such as helping redistribute food waste or a clothing charity matching those in need with donated clothing.

While we cannot escape the fact that our planet and its precious wildlife are under threat, nor completely avoid the flood of negative news pointing to risks, we can all take positive action to address the climate and environmental crises.

In addition to taking practical steps to improve your local environment, you’ll also have the solace of knowing that you’re at least doing your homework.



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