Activities

Our parishes hold monthly activities between February and November. In early April, July and September, meetings are arranged with each individual parish, to assist with the exchange of the 3-monthly Wildife Diaries. Joint meetings, that are also open to non-members, are held in the other months. We do not organise meetings for the Other Local Groups - we offer support to any meetings they arrange.

Where possible, our activities are focussed on the parishes that are taking part in the scheme. There are two objectives for these activities:

  • To help members get to know their own immediate surroundings better. From the habitat maps and the knowledge of established local members or landowners, we can identify parts of each parish that have the greatest potential for wildlife. These are usually areas that have not been 'improved' for farming - remnants of land that have difficult access for farm machinery such as steep slopes or very wet areas close to streams. Some areas have already been saved as Nature reserves. Knowing the existance, status and biodiversity of such areas helps members to become more aware of their immediate surroundings and their significance should they come under threat for any reason. We do not restrict ourselves to visiting just these area - we try to visit as wide a range of habitat as we can. It is very helpful to build up details of landowners fir these important areas, so that they can be contacted well in advance.
  • To develop the identification skills of members. especially with species that they do not come across regularly on their immediate survey area. Very few members live alongside rivers or close to woodland or large ponds, so these are prime areas to visit to increase their identification skils. For each event we try to identify local experts who can focus on teaching us such skills in the field.

Sharing activities with other parishes.This is a useful thing to do for some of the monthly activities, especially on joint borders.

Local experts. One of the key reasons for structuring Parish Wildlife around the Local Groups of the Wildlife Trust is that most already have structures in place to hold regular meetings and they have probably built up a network of local experts to help with these activities. It is important to have as large a nucleus of experts as possible, so that each is not called upon too often. Because most of the members are at an early stage in learning about wildlife, anyone with extra knowledge of a given subject can be extremely useful. We have found that members themselves can take on teaching roles as their own knowledge develops. We have members who are now able to take the leading role on Moth Trapping and Otter and Dormouse surveying, for example.