As we undertake social distancing measures to protect ourselves and others, one thing that we can take great comfort from is the natural world around us. Time spent outside is hugely beneficial for both our mental and physical wellbeing, so we’d like to continue encouraging the public to utilise the green spaces around Redbridge in a responsible and safe manner.
Spring is a fantastic time to get outside and experience the natural environment as our parks and gardens come alive with wildlife once more; birdsong fills the air, trees burst into bud and blossom, bees and butterflies awaken from their winter sleep, wildflowers carpet the woodland floor, and migrant visitors like swift, wheatear, and swallow are finally reappearing at our shores.
This is where we need your help! Recording wildlife is very important as knowledge on where and when animals and plants are present enables us identify population sizes, distribution patterns, locations of rare species, as well as changes both locally and nationally. This data is then analysed and used to help us protect and preserve biodiversity in our little corner of London.
Every few months we submit all our data to Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), the capital’s environmental records centre. Redbridge’s wildlife records currently stand at just over 96,000. We’d love to channel the public’s energy into something really positive and set everyone the challenge of helping us reach our goal of 100,000 records! Recording and sending data to GiGL is simple, they only really need four pieces of information – who, what, where, and when! You can download their easy to use data collection spreadsheet on the GiGL website.
Whether it’s counting the birds from a tenth floor flat, spotting wildflowers along a grassy verge, chronicling the lives of foxes in the garden, or spying a butterfly in a local park – we want everyone to record their #DailyDoseofNature!
Head over to our Facebook Group to share your sightings and see what others have spotted locally. If you are unsure about what species you’ve seen you post a picture to the facebook group and someone will be happy to help you with identification.