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The red squirrel has become a folk memory in Havant

Red Squirel Volunteers

HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT Volunteers have been helping to maintain habitats along the Hayling Billy trail

Published in the Portsmouth News on 5th June 2013

by Ray Cobbett, from Havant Friends of The Earth

THE most recent check by 25 nature organisations on the health of the UK’s wildlife shows a continuing trend towards decline. Faced with an onslaught of development and pollution plus climate change, bees, birds and butterflies are rapidly losing out. The red squirrel has become a folk memory with the garden hedgehog set to join them.

Any garden observer of birds will have wondered where all the starlings and sparrows have gone as more wild flowers fall foul of pesticides. But passionate and caring people are fighting back and making a small but significant difference.

These are the conservationists made up of household name charities and dozens of small groups quietly working to protect meadows, rivers and woods and reverse the tide of decline.

Havant is well endowed with such groups led by its thriving horticultural associations growing food, flowers and herbs that help the threatened bee population survive.

There are also various Friends organisations looking after woodland copses and meadows and even a group devoted to fostering biodiversity on roadside verges.

Havant’s award-winning tree warden network has plans to plans to plant over 5,300 trees across the borough over the next three years.

Volunteers from Groundwork Solent have planted a variety of trees throughout the length of the Hermitage Stream.

Another team are doing similar work along the Hayling Billy line.

The RSPB’s report The State of Nature lists many ways in which everybody can get involved as citizen scientists and naturalists.

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