Now that is a question and a half! The role of a local group is broad ranging and as I mentioned in my previous blog they all have their own personality and excel in different areas. They all step up for nature in various way and here are a couple of examples of the amazing things they get involved with. There are groups up and down the country to find one near you click here.
If you are a member of a group, please get involved and leave me comment - I'd love to hear what you are doing.
The Bolton Local Group joined in a battle to save an historic pub….. But it had nothing to do with a liking for the beer.
Local councillor Richard Silvester, who spearheaded the campaign at council level, noticed that birds appeared to be flying in and out of the building, so called on some expert advice from Frank Wood, Publicity Officer of the Bolton group.
They confirmed that a dozen pairs of house martins, plus at least one pair of house sparrows, were nesting in the eaves of the pub.
As a result of the group’s written evidence, demolition was blocked by the council until the last birds had flown the nests. The developers were given permission to bulldoze the pub at the end of the nesting season, but plans for houses and shops on the pub site were refused.
Mary Braddock, Joint Group Leader of the North West Surrey Local Group told me how she stepped up with Radio Chat!
“Our Publicity Officer contacted some local Radio stations and got lucky! Knowing me well he thought I would handle it nicely! Ah well, there is always a challenge in life.
Walking into the studio meant that I was meeting other volunteers from other walks of life, a good experience.
I put across the fact that the RSPB is a million voices for nature, that all nature is important and that Stepping Up for Nature is the new RSPB campaign. With this campaign the RSPB hopes to ensure that UK Governments will meet their 2020 target of halting the loss of biodiversity. And, more importantly for us as individuals, how we can all make a difference, no matter how small, for example by putting out food or a box for a hedgehog.
I also explained where the funds go that we, the local group, raise. We discussed our current indoor and outdoor programme, getting an advert in for our “big” community walk – nightjars on our local common.
All in all, I was able to chat for about 30 minutes with the occasional record thrown in for good measure (well it is really a music show”!). Asked for my choice of music, I went for Queen “It’s a kind of Magic”…. well nature is magic of the best kind, nature harmonizes, as does Queen, and anyway I like the song!”