Last Sunday saw the first of what we hope will be regular "Nature Conservation Days" at the Sanctuary, the brainchild of our administration team Catherine & Anna, who together put in some great work staging the event - thank you, girls!
During the day visitors were able to meet with representatives of a number of local groups and societies concerned with with matters 'green', discuss topics of interest with them and pick up information, hints & tips etc.
The Mid Anglian Bat Group has come together over the last two years, formed by enthusiasts interested in every aspect of this fascinating creature. Potential new members of the society were informed about the habitat, behaviour, and characteristics of this nocturnal native and invited to take part in a variety of exciting activities that compose the group’s annual calendar. Apart from 'bat walks', sightings and audits the group also enjoy socialising with other like-minded naturalists.
The RSPB need no introduction as the foremost organisation in the country concerned with bird welfare & conservation, and we were very pleased to have a representative taking part in the event. Their stand appealed to both old and young and the Society were able to sign up some new members during the day.
Trudy & Duncan from the Suffolk Amphibian & Reptile Group brought along a fascinating collection of native amphibians including lizards, slow worms, grass snakes, greater crested newts, toads and frogs to illustrate their sphere of interest. They also offered some valuable advice on creating the ideal habitat for these creatures in your own garden. Duncan also offered to help us on the management of the ponds and damp areas in our own Woodland Walk area at S.O.S. so we'll keep you updated on progress.
This part of the country enjoys its own population of wild deer and our visitors were all interested in the activities of The British Deer Society, who brought along lots of information on the importance of protecting our native deer species. They are also very proactive in raising awareness for their RTA Campaign, the aim of which is to reduce the number of deer deaths through road traffic accidents. "Slow Down!" is the succinct message as visitors were made aware that this one simple measure whilst out and about on country roads could reverse this unfortunate, increasing trend.
On a different tack, the Suffolk Greener Homes project brought along useful information on domestic cost-cutting measures - home insulation, fuel economy, alternative energy sources etc. - as part of the local drive to make Suffolk the greenest county in the country. There are valuable subsidies which can be applied for up until the end of September this year - visit http://www.greensuffolk.org/green-communities/support/suffolk-greener-homes-insulation-2012/#Enquiry Form if you'd like to know more.
Our younger visitors were offered a conservation-themed activity to keep them busy - the creation of framed Owl poems using natural materials such as corn grasses, feathers and leaves gleaned from the locality. Meanwhile, also available during the day was information from the Hare Preservation Trust and the Mid Suffolk County Council Recycling team.
Finally, a very special mention must go to Margaret of SARG who sweated her way through the very warm afternoon in her frog suit kindly lent by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust - thank you, Margaret!!