Froglife has been awarded a development grant from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for our exciting new project – Come Forth for Wildlife.
The Come Forth for Wildlife project will work throughout the Forth Valley (Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire) to develop connections to conserve and enhance the unique heritage the area offers. This will be achieved by creating inter-connected habitats for amphibians, reptiles and other wildlife. The project will also enable all sectors of the community to develop connections with the natural heritage of the Forth Valley region through several activities we have planned.
Wildlife Gardening Workshops
Following the success of our ‘Dragons in your Garden’ workshops across Scotland – our wildlife gardening workshops will enhance and continue this format. Offering therapeutic gardens, allotments and community gardens workshops to share skills on wildlife gardening and create wildlife-friendly features at the gardens / allotments themselves. These interactive workshops will have an amphibian and reptile focus – while we hope to run regular sessions with adults with physical / learning difficulties.
Pop-up Wildlife Gardening Workshops
Many of us have gardens or local greenspaces that we could make more wildlife friendly and our pop-up workshops aim to engage with people from all walks of life offering tips, skills and techniques to create wildlife-friendly gardens. These pop-up workshops will take place in busy centres throughout the Forth Valley so anyone can join in with activities in whatever time they have available – learning what they can do to help their local wildlife.
Neighbourhood Wildlife Corridors
Our gardens make up a valuable resource for wildlife, even more so as many wild areas and greenspaces are lost to factors such as development. Wildlife-friendly gardens can provide vital habitat links for our species especially if they connect to country parks and nature reserves. Our neighbourhood wildlife corridors will engage neighbourhoods in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire – asking local residents how we can support them to create wildlife-friendly gardens and greenspaces close to them. Several public consultations will be held throughout the development phase to gather ideas, thoughts and opinions on how conservation at a landscape scale can be best achieved on a local level.
Our mapestry activity will work with communities across the Forth Valley to create a map tapestry depicting the heritage of the Forth Valley – with a tapestry for each month of the year. 12 groups will add their views and images of heritage in the Forth Valley – wildlife, local landscapes and attractions which are important to them. Once completed the mapestry will go on a two year tour – being on display in publicly accessible venues across Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
Free training courses will be held throughout the region to focus on two topics; amphibian and reptile survey methods and identification and habitat management for reptiles and amphibians. These courses will offer in-depth knowledge and techniques on each topic – featuring theoretical and practical elements. By sharing these skills with landowners, site managers and grounds maintenance staff we can increase knowledge of our amphibians and reptiles and how to manage habitat for their benefit.
Our new pond doctor stalls have been developed from experience and feedback from numerous events – where we have identified that our staff’s knowledge of pond creation and maintenance is sought after by the public attending events throughout Scotland. With this in mind our pond doctor stalls will be set-up at busy events throughout the Forth Valley to expertise on pond creation and management with staff on hand to answer specific questions anyone may have about ponds.
Virtual Reality Exhibitions
An exciting, novel activity new to Froglife are our virtual reality exhibitions. These allow people the chance to experience the dangers of road crossings through the eyes of a toad and find out more about wildlife tunnels. We will visit busy events with our VR exhibition which will highlight the dangers amphibians face from roads.
The Come Forth for Wildlife project will focus on large-scale habitat creation and restoration works within the Forth Valley for the benefit of amphibians, reptiles and a wealth of other wildlife. As the project is focussed on a particular region, it allows these habitats to be created with connectivity in mind – allowing wildlife to move between green corridors and counter-act the effects of habitat fragmentation identified as causing declines in some of our common species. There will be lots of opportunities for volunteers to be involved in the practical works – to learn practical techniques and create a lasting legacy of the project throughout the region.
The Come Forth for Wildlife project will offer two 12 month paid traineeships – trainees will be involved in all aspects of the project, learning many skills in the workplace sure to aid them in their future conservation careers.
We are very keen to hear what sites, groups or venues might be a perfect fit for the developing project. If you would like to be involved with the project’s activities or would like to learn more please contact James (email@example.com / 07972 593603) – Come Forth for Wildlife Development Manager