Packham to bee at Beechwood
Naturalist to help On The Verge
Top telly naturalist Chris Packham is coming to Stirling this weekend to support a wildflower project.
The Really Wild Show and Autumnwatch star is to visit Beechwood to look at the work being done by environmental project On The Verge to help the city’s bee population.
On The Verge works with Stirling Council to help schools and community groups sow areas of native wildflowers around Stirlingshire to address the UKwide problem of bees being at risk of extinction because of the loss of floral resources.
Nature expert Chris will be at Beechwood on Saturday as part of a 10-day tour of 50 wildlife sites across the UK which will also include the National Trust for Scotland’s Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.
He is spearheading a Bioblitz scientific study to help measure the numbers of different wildlife species across Britain.
Chris said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the important work being done by On The Verge at Beechwood, in Stirling. I want the 2018 UK Bioblitz Campaign to be a detailed and complete wildlife audit – a 10-day snapshot of the state of our wild places and what lives there.
“It will celebrate some conservation successes like On The Verge but will also reveal some of its failures. It will show that nature reserves are not enough and it will prove that we need a healthier wider environment. A healthier countryside.”
He added: “The UK is home to remarkable and beautiful wildlife and some wonderful habitats but it’s also in big trouble. In the case of some species this means we are fast approaching the last chance to make a difference.”
On The Verge founder Leigh Biagi is thrilled to get such high-profile celebrity support.
She said: “Chris Packham knows that by spearheading Bioblitz he is bringing attention to small organisations such as ourselves and we are so grateful for that support.
“Anything that can shine a light on the work we are doing and encourage the public to get involved and help is important. This is tremendous recognition.”
Volunteer group On The Verge was launched in 2010 and offers free seed to help community groups sow areas of wildflowers while collating valuable data for wildflower research projects.
It has worked with around 90 organisations to sow a total of 7513 square metres of native wildflowers in and around Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
Leigh added: “One of the biggest issues we have is that people like the idea of flowers and like the idea of the bees, but as soon as something looks a bit messy in a town, people get a bit upset about that.
“We need to change that attitude and mindset of expecting everything to be neat and tidy and highly managed. Nature isn’t about having everything in straight rows with bedding flowers which are ecologically sterile and offer nothing to pollinators.”
Visit Chris Packham, pictured with his pet poodles Itchy and Scratchy