The importance of tree and habitat surveys for conservation

We had the most amazing day on Saturday and I want to share some photographs with you showing why I love England so much!

You’ve probably gathered it’s the trees that make my home my home. I’m a forest girl through and through and there’s no better time to be living here than the change of the seasons between late summer and early autumn.

My love of trees came from my grandmother and seems to have been bestowed upon Little Miss Green too. When she was eight, she was invited to write a piece for the amazing Reduce Footprints blog where she wrote about why trees were so important to her (and everyone else living in the world!)

Not long ago we had an application for planning permission for 14 houses in a nearby field arrive at our house for approval. We did NOT approve! Least of all because it would have meant the destruction of many trees, including those that were homes to bats. The very home to a bat that once got its signals muddled and ended up flying around my bedroom late at night no less!

According to Arbtech Habitat Survey there are many things planners have to take into consideration. As one of the leading providers of ecological consultancy in the UK, Arbtech provide protected species survey for newts, badgers, birds or reptiles as well as the more commonly known tree and bat surveys.

When we were home schooling, we used to take part in surveys as part of our daily learning. There are so many to choose from and some of our favourites included the Woodland Trust Nature Calendar where you recorded seasonal events that show the impact of climate change on our wildlife. We had a big wall calendar where we would mark things like the first bluebells, the snowdrops, the first butterfly throughout the year and compare them to other years.

Another favourite was Plant Life’s Wildflower count which is an annual survey to track some of the most common wildflowers which are indicators of how healthy our countryside is.

We also enjoyed (and still do!) the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch where you count the birds in your garden or local park for an hour. It enables the RSPB to monitor trends such as the the UK top ten most common garden birds as well as gathering data on endangered species.

What about you? Do you take part in any regular habitat surveys?

1 Comment

  1. Small Footprints on October 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I LOVED that post by Little Miss Green … it was so thoughtful and insightful, especially for a person so young! I didn’t know that there were so many “formal” habitat surveys around … what a fun, and helpful, activity for children as well as adults. I’ve always believed that we will protect what we love … but to love we need exposure and the encouragement to actually open our eyes and see things. The habitat surveys are a wonderful way to improve our vision. Thanks so much for posting pictures of your trees … they are just beautiful. Ours are changing color but the leaves won’t be around for long … Hurricane Sandy’s reach is causing higher than normal winds in our area so … the beautiful fall colors will be on the ground soon. 🙂