A WORCESTERSHIRE charity has called for the nature and climate crises to be tackled ‘together and at speed’.
Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said the two crises were inseparable and humans won’t solve either if we don’t all take action and prepare for a changing world.
If the two crises are not tackled, Worcestershire could see more extreme rainfall events and floods as well as extensive droughts that cause wildfires across heathland in the north and grasslands in the south of the county.
The charity is warning that much-loved wildlife like cuckoos and habitats like wildflower-rich grasslands that support multitudes of bees, butterflies, birds and mammals may not survive a rapidly changing climate.
Together with trusts across the country, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is calling on the UK Presidency of the global climate conference COP26 to tackle the nature crisis alongside the climate crisis as well as encouraging local authorities, businesses and residents across the county to do their bit.
Colin Raven, director of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “Nature plays a vital role in storing carbon safely as well as providing us with clean water, clean air and much more. But our natural places are in decline and now face an even greater risk of degradation from the results of climate change that are already inevitable in the near future.”
The trust is looking for sites next to its own nature reserves to ensure wildlife has space to move and adapt as changes to our climate take hold.
Wetlands, grasslands, heathland and saltmarsh as well as woodlands all store carbon so ensuring their creation and restoration helps wildlife, the climate and people.
The Trust’s Piper’s Hill and Dodderhill Common nature reserve is one of the best sites in the region for veteran trees.
The ancient trees here are among the Trust’s 1,290 acres of woodland across the county that together sequester an estimated 3,700 tonnes of carbon per year. The pond here has recently been restored following the explosion of the non-native floating pennywort plant, which outcompetes native wildlife and forms a mat across the water, reducing light for aquatic invertebrates.
The Trust also manage Beaconwood and The Winsel nature reserve, planted with oaks and other native trees between the 1800s and 1930s. The Trust hopes to create similar woodlands where appropriate on land adjacent to their current nature reserves – both to provide a buffer to those nature reserves and to offset carbon emissions from the rest of their work.
The Trust has worked closely with Bromsgrove District Council, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water to create and improve wetland habitat in Sanders Park.
As well as improving the area to help water voles, a species that has been lost from 94 per cent of places that it had previously been found in, the new wetland helps with flood alleviation and sequestering and storing carbon.
Colin added “We all have a part to play in ensuring a safe and healthy future for our planet.
“Whether you’re a land manager, a business, a community group or an individual, there are simple and easy things that we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint, adapt to climate change and make a big difference to the natural world – from reconsidering what we eat, how we travel and how we use resources like water and energy.
“One simple way to help ourselves and nature is by planting more around our homes and communities to lower high temperatures and soak up floodwater.
“We have more ideas on what people can do on the climate change pages of our website.”
The Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts across the UK calling on the Government to commit to take urgent steps to stop carbon-emitting activities and to take action in the areas of peat, farming, woodland, planning and our marine environment that will allow natural processes to be restored to help both nature and the climate.
Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/cop26 for more information about the conference and how individuals can help to save the world.