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30th Nov, 2021

Wildlife Trust warnings of impact on Droitwich and Worcester 'if climate change is not tackled at speed'

Droitwich Editorial 9th Nov, 2021

A WORCESTERSHIRE charity has called for the nature and climate crises to be tackled ‘together and at speed’.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said the two crises were inseparable and humans won’t solve either if we don’t all take action and prepare for a changing world.

If the two crises are not tackled, Worcestershire could see more extreme rainfall events and floods as well as extensive droughts that cause wildfires across heathland in the north and grasslands in the south of the county.

The charity is warning that much-loved wildlife like cuckoos and habitats like wildflower-rich grasslands that support multitudes of bees, butterflies, birds and mammals may not survive a rapidly changing climate.

Together with trusts across the country, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is calling on the UK Presidency of the global climate conference COP26 to tackle the nature crisis alongside the climate crisis as well as encouraging local authorities, businesses and residents across the county to do their bit.

Colin Raven, director of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “Nature plays a vital role in storing carbon safely as well as providing us with clean water, clean air and much more. But our natural places are in decline and now face an even greater risk of degradation from the results of climate change that are already inevitable in the near future.”

The trust is looking for sites next to its own nature reserves to ensure wildlife has space to move and adapt as changes to our climate take hold.

Across the county, the charity is involved in many projects to create and improve space for nature that also has positive benefits for our climate. Wetlands, grasslands, heathland and saltmarsh as well as woodlands all store carbon so ensuring their creation and restoration helps wildlife, the climate and people.

Lower Smite Farm. Picture by Wendy Carter. s

At Lower Smite Farm, the Trust’s headquarters between Worcester and Droitwich Spa, the charity has been working to improve the health of the soil and create more areas for predators of crop pests following years of intensive agriculture.

Improving and creating space for nature in this way not only aids wildlife and stores more carbon but also means that land managers don’t need to use as much pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

The Trust has also been working to create wetlands within and around farmland in the Huddington and Tibberton area. Small wetland areas on the edge of fields can filter out pollutants from entering wider water courses, help to reduce pressure on farmers’ pockets and our water bills, offer habitat for wildlife and capture carbon from the atmosphere.

Colin added “We all have a part to play in ensuring a safe and healthy future for our planet. Whether you’re a land manager, a business, a community group or an individual, there are simple and easy things that we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint, adapt to climate change and make a big

difference to the natural world – from reconsidering what we eat, how we travel and how we use resources like water and energy.

“One simple way to help ourselves and nature is by planting more around our homes and communities to lower high temperatures and soak up floodwater.

“We have more ideas on what people can do on the climate change pages of our website.”

The Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts across the UK calling on the Government to commit to take urgent steps to stop carbon-emitting activities and to take action in the areas of peat, farming, woodland, planning and our marine environment that will allow natural processes to be restored to help both nature and the climate.

Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/cop26 for more information about the conference and how individuals can help to save the world.

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