Teignbridge Wildlife Warden Newsletter
In a year that has been difficult for everyone, it has been immensely uplifting to see so many people enthusiastic about helping nature bounce back. Thanks to all of you for the time and energy that you have put into this scheme. At the time of writing, we have almost 50 Wildlife Wardens signed up , representing 24 of the 54 parishes in Teignbridge. I look forward to seeing your great ideas being implemented in 2021! My most recent wildlife sighting – I observed a dipper sat on a rock in the middle of the River Lemon as water raged around it. It was too dark to get a decent photograph, so here is one that I took during more sunny times.
Important documents and other information
Audrey Compton created this document which explains what ACT and the WW scheme are about. It might be useful when approaching people (such as councillors) who haven’t heard about the scheme.
Please could you keep us updated on what you have been up to. This could be informally, or in the form of a monthly report. Here is Kate Morley’s (WW for Holcombe Burnell) October report which can be used as a template or for inspiration.
We are looking into the possibility of creating ACT email addresses for all of you Wildlife Wardens. We feel that this is important, as we don’t want to put you in the position where you feel like you have to distribute your person email address to members of the public.
Here is a short talk by Audrey Compton about the importance of improving our countryside for wildlife and how the Wildlife Warden Scheme aims to do this. Thank you, Andy Bailey (Dartmoor National Park), for hosting the talk!
What local wildlife groups have to offer
The Devon Reptile and Amphibian Group (DRAG) provide training in reptile and amphibian surveys. They also organise surveys and are involved in habitat management. Please click on this link if you would like to sign up to DRAG or find out more about them.
Moor Meadows are offering the following free talk on the 14th of January – The Garden Jungle: how to save our insects, with Dave Goulson. Dave Goulson is the national expert on bumblebees and founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Please follow this link to register.
Please do join our private Facebook Group if you haven’t already done so. Feel free to post anything related to the scheme.
I created a private Groups.iO email group for all of you WWs to ask questions and share ideas with one another. You can join using the link provided. After signing up, you can send emails to all members, or to specific members. Emails sent through this group are organised into threads, all of which can be accessed for future reference on the Wildlife Warden Groups.io page.
Here is an overview of some of the wonderful things that you have been up to.
Peter Chandler helps manage Crockwells Meadow (a 15 acre parish council owned site) for wildlife. Peter recently involved local school children in the planting of saplings (given by the Woodland Trust). He previously taught a Duke of Edinburgh student how to lay one of the sites hedges and has created many habitats, including the restoration of a Devon bank.
College Ward – Newton Abbot
Christine Callard, a Wildlife Warden for College Ward, proposed the idea of creating a hedgerow and a wildflower habitat within a section of Ogwell Cross Cemetery (A Teignbridge District Council owned site). We visited the site with someone from TDC and her idea was approved! If you have any ideas for projects on sites owned by TDC, please speak to either Audrey or I, and Audrey will contact TDC with the idea. We would prefer it if you don’t contact TDC directly, as they are very busy and we have a system in place to avoid swamping them with too much work.
Chudleigh Wild are one of the local wildlife groups that signed up to the WW scheme. They have recently been promoting wildlife gardening and created an award system whereby wildlife friendly households receive a plaque to commemorate their achievements.
Other things that you have been up to
Some of you have already approached your parish/town councils about the scheme. This is a good thing to do after receiving introductory training, as you might be able to discuss the possibility of creating/improving habitats on parish council owned land, councillors might be able to offer funding and because it is important to build healthy relationships. Several of you have written articles for local parish magazines. So far, this has been used as an opportunity to introduce the scheme to local residents, promote wildlife gardening techniques and share a survey (created in SurveyMonkey) asking residents what they think could be done to improve their local area for wildlife.
I hope that you all had an wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New year! I look forward to meeting more of you in 2021.