Pack­ham to bee at Beech­wood

Nat­u­ral­ist to help On The Verge

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.