• A Great Green Prize
    September 10, 2018

    We recently ran a competition for students from two local schools to design elements of our new Creative Space area at Wolf Fields Urban Nature Reserve. The winners were treated to an outing to Knepp a 3,500-acre estate just south of Horsham, West Sussex and ‘one of the largest rewilding projects in Europe’.

    The group of intrepid explorers from Southall were guided by Senior Ecologist Penny Green as they toured the estate. From the Safari vehicle, they witnessed a Red Deer getting ready for rutting season, rubbing his antlers against shrubs and trees. As they stopped for a walk, found a Grass Snake and a Slow Worm, which one of the children was able to handle.

    The children were able to see many interesting creatures, including Long Horn Cattle, Tamworth Pigs and Fallow Deer. They also saw some magnificent birds including a hobby, buzzards, a ... Read more...

  • Public Pressure and Plastic: Cause for Hope
    September 10, 2018

    In August, the government published the results of a rare survey. It was rare because it was the Treasury consulting the public and about plastic pollution. It was doubly rare because of the huge response: 162,000 submissions from individuals, businesses and campaign groups. The vast majority expressed support for much tougher government action, including measures to reduce demand for single-use plastics such as coffee cups and takeaway boxes, and encouraging greater use of recycled plastic in manufacturing.

    The Prime Minister announced that the government would respond to the public will, which demonstrates a much wider point: public opinion counts. There’s no shortage of bad news on the environment, from recent reports on the rapid decline of UK wildlife and the scale of global plastic pollution, to the stark evidence of climate change this summer.

    But the greatest hope of urgent change lies in people making ... Read more...

  • Comment: Too Hot to Handle
    August 16, 2018

    This summer, the UK has been hit with yet another heatwave—this one drawing comparisons with the notorious drought of 1976—and as global average temperatures rise, we’re told that events like this will become much more common. But what are the implications for nature?

    Some species such as crickets and butterflies, which don’t lay eggs in water, are likely to do well—at least in the short term. Trees, with their extensive root systems, tend to cope better with drought conditions. Many others, however, are adapted to a more ‘normal’ British climate with much more rain than we’ve seen so far this summer. Many birds will need to find supplies of fresh water. House martins, which build their nests out of mud, need extra water to make repairs when the mud dries out and cracks. Amphibians are struggling as ponds and streams dry up and ... Read more...

  • Wolf Fields Open Day 2018
    August 16, 2018

    Over two hundred people braved the hot weather to visit our Wolf Fields Open Day event on Saturday 21st July. Southall MP Virendra Sharma, Mayor of Ealing Tejinder Dhami, members of the public, friends of Wolf Fields and A Rocha UK staff joined in with a packed day of activities showcasing the urban reserve.

    Activities included a drum workshop, a beehive demonstration from the Twickenham Bee Association, a nature trail quiz and creative activities including willow craft and wooden badge making. St Anselm’s Church Youth Group wowed the crowd with a dance routine and a street drama piece about the environment. We were regaled with some traditional songs lead by members of our local Sikh Gurdwara. Four children from Norwood Green Junior School also impressed with their storytelling on topics related to nature, making fantastic use of props and face paint to tell ... Read more...

  • Comment: Mammals under threat
    July 5, 2018

    A recent report suggested that a fifth of Britain’s mammal species are at risk of extinction. The wildlife that surrounded so many of us in years gone by is becoming increasingly rare—hedgehogs, red squirrels and several species of bat are in dramatic decline. Faced with statistics such as these it is easy to lose hope. But hope is still to be found.

    The reasons for the decline in mammals are numerous. The demand for housebuilding increases pressure on local authorities to build across green corridors. People live ever closer to wildlife and, when it comes to conflict, the people generally come off better. Wildlife is feeling the effects of climate change, too, with food harder to find and hibernation patterns disrupted.


    But particular species in certain areas are bouncing back. Improvements in river water quality alongside reintroduction programmes have led ... Read more...

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