The SYWG Wild Patch project has for a number of years been working to encourage families, community groups and other land owners to start managing their gardens or other spaces to support wildlife.
In the predominantly farmed or developed landscape that surrounds some of the unique habitats of the Yare valley we will all be aware of the ever growing scarcity of things that were once common, and our gardens, ponds, and public spaces such as church yards have become valuable biodiversity refuges.
The project – along with a growing public awareness – has encouraged many people and communities in our area to embrace the ‘scruffiness’ needed by the many plants, animals and insects that find a home in these areas. In return these wilder spaces have helped provide moments of wonder, educational opportunities and of course a positive focus during a very difficult 2020. However, achieving a scale with real impact was always going to be difficult for a local wildlife group – which is why the launch of WildEast earlier this year was met with some excitement by members of SYWG.
WildEast aims to be a movement with an ambitious plan for East Anglia. They are working to encourage farmers, landowners, schools, churches and families to return 20% of their land to nature with everyone playing their part, and each as celebrated and as important as the other, regardless of rank or scale. This commitment if realised would effectively make the region a significant nature reserve covering many of the unique and diverse habitats and landscapes, we are lucky to have in the area – as one of WildEast’s founders Hugh Somerleyton says, “It’s basically Wild Patch on a wild scale”.
Given this obvious complementarity members of SYWG were among the first pledgees of their Wild Patches to the Wild East cause and the committee made the decision that collaboration and sharing of the many resources developed for the Wild Patch project would offer mutual benefit for both parties given our common objective. As such SYWG have made the factsheets and animation produced to provide guidance to those wishing to ‘wild’ their patch available to WildEast who are using these as part of their technical support offering for those seeking support and guidance. SYWG has been delighted to share these resources with a likeminded organisation with a significantly greater reach and level of media exposure so that the messages they contain can be shared with as many people as possible.
The SYWG committee will be working with the WildEast team over the coming months to identify other areas of potentially mutually beneficial collaboration and ways to support each other’s ambitions to see a richer, healthier and more varied environment in our region and beyond. In the meantime please visit WildEast’s website and pledge your Wild Patch to their ‘Map of Dreams’ and to learn more about their plans and ideas for a wilder East Anglia.
For more information see the WildEast website.