Nature and Biodiversity
Our natural world is at risk
One million species face extinction globally
In the UK , a quarter of our mammals are at risk, including hedgehogs
35 UK bee species are threatened with extinction, which would seriously impact how the natural world functions, including our crops.
97% of our wildflower meadows have been lost since the Second World War
We have failed to reach 17 out of 20 of the UN biodiversity targets that we signed up to a decade ago.
Why is wildlife under threat?
It’s a combination of things - habitat loss to building and road development, damaging intensive farming practices, not enough land being managed for nature, chemicals and waste entering our air, land and water.
All leading to a dwindling wildlife population and what the RSPB are calling a “lost decade for nature”.
Nature and people
Wildlife and green spaces are essential for humans too.
There is overwhelming evidence that being connected with nature - even just a short walk in the park or watching the changing seasons - can work wonders for our mental as well as physical health, and for children’s education.
Find out more here
What can we do?
We need to reverse this decline – protecting precious green spaces and habitats that already exist and enhancing their biodiversity, and creating new places for nature, including planting more trees and pollinator-friendly shrubs and flowers.
We need to strengthen environmental and nature protections in law – and prevent them being weakened just to secure trade deals or aid big developers. Friends of the Earth was one instrumental in the 2018 ban on neonicotinoids (bee-harming pesticides).
Local planning policy and regulations play a vital role in protecting nature from unacceptable development where we live.
We can all do our bit – from objecting to harmful developments and helping create positive local biodiversity plans and policies, to taking practical actions in our communities and at home, like planting trees and creating wildlife-friendly gardens.
Check out these fantastic guides on wildlife gardening from the Wildlife Trusts.
Swale FoE’s activities
'Wilding the Rec'
In 2019 we launched a community project to make Faversham Recreation Ground better for wildlife and people, by adding nature areas, plants for pollinators, trees and wildlife education. Using the opportunity of the current refurbishment, and with a grant from Swale Borough Council, we are working with the councils, Kent Wildlife Trust, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Faversham in Bloom and lots of enthusiastic volunteers support nature, address climate change and create a lovely natural space for local people.
We are grateful to have received an environmental grant from Swale Borough Council to support our project.
In November 2020, the project was recognised by KWT and the BCT as part of the ‘Neighbourhood with the Best Buzz’ award for Faversham.
Join the Friends of Wilding the Rec Facebook group or contact us to find out more and be alerted to future volunteer days.
Trees and hedgerows
As well as the planting trees at Faversham Rec, our members are supporting a number of local tree-planting and tree-protection projects:
Trees for Farms is a voluntary group which liaises with farms to plant more hedges in the Swale area in Kent and is always looking for volunteers!
Faversham Trees is a group dedicated to protecting and promoting trees in Faversham. Check out their page for a programme of online activities during National Tree Week 2020!
More Trees Please!
We are calling on the UK Government to double tree cover, for the climate and for nature.
You can sign the petition here.
Wild About Gardens
We have supported Kent Wildlife Trust's WILD ABOUT GARDENS project and attended the Awards
ceremony in November 2019, where our Secretary won a Silver Award!
We are currently opposing a planning application to build 24 luxury homes at a very precious local wildlife site at Conyer, near the South Swale National Nature Reserve and SSSI.
The former brickworks is now home to a variety of wildlife, including threatened nightingales and turtle doves.
You can add your voice here.
Sign Friends of the Earth’s petition to the UK Government to prevent mass extinction
Get your Christmas Bee Saver Kit – with a donation to FoE’s campaign
Ask the UK government to double tree cover for climate and nature
Help save Britain’s hedgehog with a ‘hedgehog highway' – petition to change regulations