Put a spring in your step with woodland walks

Saturday 27th April 2013

cpt Terry Whittaker 2020Visioncpt Terry Whittaker 2020Vision

With more than 400 woodlands to choose from across the UK, The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging everyone to take a wander in the woods this weekend.

Last year the conservation organisation marked its Centenary with a series of events celebrating wildlife in woods, meadows, gardens, wetlands and in our seas. With nearly 8,000 people having taken part, these events are now an annual fixture.

Those who join or volunteer for their local Wildlife Trust can enjoy the woods knowing that they’re helping to establish and protect these wonderful places for generations to come

‘Our Woodland Wildlife’ starts this year’s series, with individual Wildlife Trusts offering everything from wanders past drifts of beautiful bluebells to bird and butterfly spotting, wood-whittling and even cooking a Sunday roast in the great outdoors.

Most events are free and all are designed to introduce more people to the benefits that exploring our woods can bring to their health and well-being, as well as alerting them to the wildlife within.

“We are offering people a chance to re-connect with their local woodlands and wildlife, making it easy for them to get closer to nature.  These woodland events take place across the UK over just one weekend but they could permanently change people’s lives for the better,” said Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts.

“We do need support to maintain the conditions of many of our woodlands. Once people see what is out there and what is needed to protect these precious natural resources, they often feel encouraged to make nature part of their lives again.

“Those who join or volunteer for their local Wildlife Trust can enjoy the woods knowing that they’re helping to establish and protect these wonderful places for generations to come.

“And it’s only by managing woodland nature reserves carefully, through practices such as coppicing, mixed planting and widening woodland ‘rides’ or access routes, that we can ensure that they benefit the most species – human beings included.”

Bill Oddie, Vice President of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

"Of course when I was a lad during the 1950s the whole of the West Midlands was covered in Bluebells. I used to assume that it was some kind of homage to Birmingham City FC, so - because I was a West Brom fan- I refused to look at them (the Bluebells I mean.).  How things have changed - Birmingham City, West Brom, and Bluebells, none of them are doing so well these days.

"Fortunately, Bluebells have got lots of supporters.  Probably Birmingham and the Baggies have too, but they can't really affect the football, but The Wildlife Trusts can affect the flowers, and the woods, and the birds and the insects, and the.... well -like it says- wildlife. Have a great day, but please don't trample the bluebells. No football.”

Download 'our great places to see' guides for woodland butterlies and ancient & unusal trees and there are spotting sheets galore to download at http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets

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