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Notice: Free Webinars for Community Groups: How to Take Action for Nature

Published on: 2 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 2 Oct, 2022

With evidence of a climate and nature crisis becoming clearer every day, Surrey Wildlife Trust is inviting community groups to a series of free webinars packed with inspirational ideas for how to create local habitats and give wildlife a helping hand.

The webinars are part of the trust’s mission to bring people of all backgrounds together to bring nature into everyone’s daily life.

Using local examples, they will show how simple actions can help create a joined-up network of habitats for wildlife, plants and people to flourish across Surrey.

Hankley Common Fire Jul 2022

Recent wildfires, drought and decline in species from swifts to frogs to butterflies have shown that Southern England is feeling the effects of a changing climate and a reduction in habitats.

But whether it’s a community wildflower garden, a restored pond or river or some native trees in a playground, biodiverse environments are easy to create and have clear health, mental health and economic benefits for people of all ages. They also provide vital services such as flood prevention, pollination and carbon storage.

Claire Courtier, community engagement manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust said: “If we are to help our wildlife to survive, the answer must come from within the local community – it needs to involve everybody, everywhere.”

This series of webinars will be followed by two workshops in spring 2023 and a community conference in the summer.

The first webinar, on October 11 from 5.30pm – 7.15pm will hear from speakers including Keith Lightfoot, a leading player in the Unstead Nature Community Group. Keith will discuss the achievements and challenges of working to create a diverse rural wetland for nature, and will highlight some of the hundreds of species that now thrive on the reserve thanks to the work of a core group of around 15 volunteers.

Other speakers in the series include husband and wife Noureen and Khalid Chaudery of Whyteleafe Community Centre, who have inspirational plans to create an Islamic Garden, where members of all communities can relax, unwind and engage with nature. It will be a space for learning and education with a focus on health and well-being.

SWT trustee Chris Howard, who has worked as part of the local community in Wonersh and Shamley Green over the past three years to develop two new village environment groups, said: “It is one thing to decide to plant some trees, but securing sign-off from councils, carrying out consultation with residents and agreeing which trees go where and how these trees will be looked after in the first few vulnerable years is another.  However, it is more than worth it.”

It’s easy to sign up for these free events at www.surreywildlifetrust.org/whatson/community-action-nature-webinars

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