Civic Pride Rossendale wants to improve the biodiversity of the ecosystems in our local urban environment. That doesn’t trip off the tongue very easily, so we are calling it Rewilding Rossendale! Read more about it all below.  If you have no time to spare, then consider a Just Giving donation to help us continue to make a difference – click here: Just Giving: Rewilding Rossendale

Why Rewild?
The ‘State of Nature 2019‘ reveals that 41% of the UK species studied have declined since the 1970’s, with butterflies, moths and bats being the hardest hit.

Since the 1950’s hedgehogs have declined by 95%, and the common toad by 68%.  House sparrow numbers have declined in town and cities by 60% since the mid 1970’s.

Funding to Improve Gardening for Wildlife in Civic Pride Gardens – important information for all Volunteers Involved in Gardening and Rewilding
Many of our volunteer gardeners are already doing fantastic work to encourage wildlife in the CPR gardens.  They are creating suitable habitats for insects, planting nectar rich flowers, removing invasive species and leaving areas of their plots a bit wild to encourage wildlife to stay around.  They are planting shrubs with berries, and plants with seeds for birds and mammals, and leaving heaps of twigs and leaves for insects to live in.  However, there is always more we can do to increase the biodiversity of our plots, and we have great news on this front.

Civic Pride Rossendale has secured £6,000 of funding to ‘improve the biodiversity of the ecosystems in the Rossendale urban environment’.  But that doesn’t trip off the tongue, so we are calling it Rewilding Rossendale.

CPR already maintains over 20 public spaces and gardens in Rossendale, so this seems like the best place to start – to do what we can, however much or little, in those gardens and public spaces to increase the variety of wildlife.

The grant money can be spent on wildflower seeds, native bulbs and native plug plants or mature plants, bird and bat boxes, bird baths, woodland plants, nectar rich perennials, peat free compost, insect hotels, bee houses and hedgehog homes.

For example, you could plant up some native primroses and native bluebells, put up some bird and bat boxes or plant a hedge for sparrows.  All these steps can make a real difference to the local environment.

Step – by-Step Information about using the Grant Money:

a.  Assess your plot and establish what you can do to increase the area’s value for wildlife.  Research what is appropriate for your plot.

b. Speak to [email protected] about the native plants, shrubs and bulbs, birdboxes, bat boxes, hedgehog homes etc that are appropriate for your site.  Most of these should be available from the recommended suppliers listed in this newsletter.

c. Once agreed with Anne, keep copies of any receipts (photos and scans are fine) and send them to the Finance Officer at [email protected] together with with your bank account details, and she will reimburse you.

d. ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photos are vital, along with photos of you doing the work should be kept.  These should also be sent to Charlotte.  You may also be asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire about the scheme.

Important Advice About What to Purchase and Where From:
Bird Boxes – You can get several varieties of bird boxes for different species of birds, e.g. robin, wren and blue tit.  It is important that these are situated at the correct height and facing the correct direction for the bird species.  You can find information on where these boxes need to be sited on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and we recommend that you purchase any bird boxes through this site, or other reputable suppliers.  Avoid brightly coloured, cheap nest boxes, as they may not be the best design for birds.  We are particularly keen to provide some additional homes for the house sparrows, who are in serious decline.  The sparrow terraces need situating at least 3 metres off the ground, and protected from full sun and high wind, with no other bird boxes nearby.  If you are lucky enough to have a suitable wall, then that would be fantastic.  You can also make boxes if you have the skills, and CPR will pay for the materials.

Bat Boxes – The RSPB website is a good place to look for information on bat boxes and they sell a suitable one on their site.  Ark Wildlife sell several bat boxes.  The Bat Conservation Trust also has some excellent advice.

Installation of Bird and Bat Boxes – If it is a problem for you to install them, then please contact Charlotte or Anne.  Do not put yourself at risk climbing up high!!  We can see what we can be arranged.  If necessary we can pay someone to install them for you.

Native Seeds, Plug Plants, Bulbs, Shrubs and Trees – We recommend you purchase native plants from reputable UK companies such as Naturescape  and Meadowmania .   The RHS has an excellent list of garden and wildflower species that are good for pollinators.

Hedgehog Homes – Please do not site these near roads of course.  They can be purchased from The British Hedgehog Society, who can also provide advice and information . Please never buy an igloo hedgehog house – there have been reports of hedgehogs getting their spikes trapped in them.

Insect Hotels and Bee mansions – Mason bee homes can be purchased from Ark Wildlife.  The RSPB also have lots of information on insect hotels and places for bees to live.

General Advice 
For more information about little changes you can make to your garden to help our local wildlife contact the RSPB – Wildlife Gardening  and the Royal Horticultural Society

Please feel free to speak to Anne, Garden’s Officer, about your gardening plot or any other matters concerning rewilding.

Please get out there and find responsible ways to use this Rewilding grant money as it is time critical, and our wildlife will love you for it.