Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation is seeking nature-loving volunteers for a brand-new project called Wild Spaces which will transform urban spaces in Stirling into green havens.
Residents in Raploch, Cornton, Top of the Town, Braehead, and Hillpark are being asked to help plant native trees and wildflowers that will boost populations of butterflies and moths, as well as other wildlife.
Butterflies and moths are important pollinators and are fundamental food for birds as well as bats. However, their habitats have faced catastrophic declines and some species in Scotland have declined by 27% in recent years.
Funded by a grant of £79,800 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and with support from Stirling Council, over the next two years the project will not only help create a network of restored habitats for pollinators but will also offer additional greenery and bring benefits to local people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Wild Spaces Project Officer Anthony McCluskey said: ‘The Wild Spaces project is the perfect opportunity for people in Stirling to get directly involved in improving their local greenspaces and gardens for wildlife and the people living near them. Nature is in crisis and we all want to do something to help, so it’s fantastic to have the support of Stirling Council for this important work.’
There will also be dozens of events held around Stirling to show people how to identify and record butterflies, and opportunities for people to come along to Discovery Days and Moth Mornings to find out about the wonderful world of insects in their communities. Details of these events and how to take part in the project will be on Butterfly Conservation’s Scotland website.
Gardeners and community groups will benefit too, with training workshops to show them how to make their gardens and greenspaces better for insects. The project will give away 200 native trees or wildflower packs to residents of Stirling so they can do their bit to help at home.
Caroline Clark, Director for Scotland at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘Wild Spaces is going to have a real impact improving the environment for people and nature in the heart of communities. These volunteering opportunities are a great way for local people to be part of that change. Volunteers are at the heart of much of the work that, thanks to National Lottery players, we support. We know it is a tremendously rewarding activity. On this project volunteers will be able to enjoy watching the local havens for wildlife they create grow and thrive for years to come.’
Jen Preston, Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment, Transport and Net Zero Committee, said: ‘Stirling Council fully supports projects which seek to improve the availability of habitats that help to support our pollinators. We are also keen to see projects delivered that better connect our communities with the natural environment. We have made a commitment through our recently adopted Alive with Nature Plan to manage 50% of our land for biodiversity and this exciting project will help us to achieve that target.’
To sign up to take part in the Wild Spaces project or for more information contact Anthony on email@example.com or go to www.butterfly-conservation.org/scotland.