Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve: Creating a nature reserve that “stretches” across a seaside town

Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve is aiming to create a nature reserve right across the seaside town in Suffolk.

Founded by Felixstowe-resident Dr Adrian Cooper, Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve is calling on gardeners and allotment owners to allocate at least 3 square yards of their land for wildlife-friendly plants, ponds and insect lodges.

The organisation is hoping to create a community nature reserve of 5,000 square yards, which equals the size of a football pitch.

Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve aims to stop the decline of wildlife populations in the town, by encouraging everyone who has a garden, allotment or window box to set aside some space which is friendly to wildlife.

The idea was was born out of Dr Adrian Cooper’s own frustration during the last UK General Election in 2015, where there was no mention of the decline in bee and other wildlife populations.

Dr Adrian Cooper explains: “Most people understood that wildlife populations in Felixstowe were falling, and they wanted to help, but they simply did not know how. It also became clear that getting hold of a single plot of land for any kind of nature reserve project in the Felixstowe area would take too long, and would be too complicated.

“I therefore decided to make participation in this initiative as simple as possible. First, I re-defined what a nature reserve could be. Instead of it being one area of land, I suggested to local people that each of them only had to allocate 3 square yards of their gardens and/or allotments for wildlife-friendly plants, ponds and insect lodges, and then aim for 1,666 people to take part. That combination would give us a total area of 5,000 square yards – the area of a football pitch, an image which everyone could imagine.”

More than 1270 local people are currently a part of the Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve.

Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve has inspired many other community nature reserves to start up in the UK including the Cosby Community Nature Reserve, and the Burbage Community Nature Reserve.

In 2019, Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve will be working with more young people in Felixstowe as well as Bristol, where it will be teaming up with Bristol Schools Nature Reserve.

Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

 

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