Flanders Moss, Blawhorn Moss and Loch Lomond NNR’s
Chris Packham’s visit was not only exciting and exhiliarating but also thought provoking.
He has now just come to the end of an amazing whistle-stop Bioblitz across 50 sites in 10 days in the UK.
This is very much his own personal campaign (more info here) but with a strap line of “nature reserves are not enough” here is the reason why his is undertaking this grueling campaign.
“The UK is home to remarkable and beautiful wildlife and some wonderful habitats but it’s also in big trouble, and in the case of some species this means we are fast approaching the last chance to make a difference.
“I want the 2018 UK Bioblitz Campaign to be a detailed and complete wildlife audit, a ten day snapshot of the state of our wild places and what lives there. It will celebrate some conservation successes but also reveal some of its failures. It will show that nature reserves are not enough and it will prove we need a healthier wider environment. A healthier countryside .”
So how is this apparent in our local area in around the Stirling NNR’s of Flanders Moss, Blawhorn and Loch Lomond NNR?
Those of my generation have been around long enough to maybe notice the difference in the nature around them now compared to their youth. Are there as many wild flowers along roadside and in meadows as you can remember when you were a child? Are there are many insects (bird food) stuck to the windscreens and radiator grills of your car in summer as there were when you were young?
On this blog we have already written about declining species such as curlew and cuckoo that are disappearing from the countryside around our nature reserves. But even on our reserves species are being lost. Capercaillie, black grouse, dunlin, no longer breed as they did on Flanders Moss or Loch Lomond NNR’s and bog rosemary has been lost from Blawhorn Moss. So just allocating small areas to nature is not the best way to save wildlife. I think we should be seeing, in fact have the right to see, wildlife on a daily basis, all around us and not just have to get in the car and make an appointment to see it.
But does it matter? Is this wildlife a luxury? Is it optional? Well I think it is an essential and for so many reasons. Nature is good for us – good for physical and mental health. And this importance to our well-being will only increase as everyday lives get busier and the population increases. And nature is valuable – did you know that the substance in the glutinous blobs on the end of sundew tentacles is being researched as a way to help heal problem wounds? And peatlands are important for delivering clean water, capturing carbon to mitigate climate change and also reduce the risk of flooding by holding rainfall and releasing it slowly?
Nature and wildlife are not an option but a necessity. So supporting people like Chris to make sure that there is some left for the next generations to come seems to be the right thing to do at the very least. Is nature important to you? Do you want you future descendants to see what you have experienced? Then something needs to be done.