Islanders Urged To Support Local Wildlife Trust As Groundbreaking Report Published

wildlife trust flagThe manager of Scilly’s Wildlife Trust says we shouldn’t be complacent about the enviable landscape we enjoy here on the islands and people need to support their local organisation.

Sarah Mason was speaking on the day the groundbreaking ‘State of Nature’ report is launched. For the first time ever, scientists from 25 different UK wildlife organisations have come together to make a detailed survey of British flora and fauna.

And Sarah says the work contains some shocking statistics, with 60% of the UK’s species in decline and one in ten threatened with disappearing altogether.

She says some people will look around our islands and think that we shouldn’t be worried, especially with our diverse and unique species like the Scilly shrew, red barbed ant and dwarf pansy.

But she says even here, there have been ‘staggering’ declines in the numbers of kittiwakes and common terns, while the roseate tern, which was once common, has all but disappeared.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, with recent sightings of the unique Scilly bee, increasing numbers of meadow pipits nesting in our heathland and sightings of the grass eggar moth, which is scarce on the mainland.

From Radio Scilly

Wildlife Trust manager, Sarah Mason talks to Radio Scilly

And the 25-year Seabird Recovery Project has also launched this year.

Sarah says people often don’t realise how much of our landscape is managed. There are few truly wild places left in the UK and what we think of as countryside has been managed for centuries by farmers and nature organisations.

And she says if that didn’t happen in Scilly, we’d soon be overrun by pittosporum, gorse and bracken.

Sarah says a lot of her counterparts on the mainland are very envious of her job because the landscape in Scilly is so special.  She moved here earlier this year from a large Wildlife Trust in Gloucestershire, with a staff of 40 and 27,000 members.

Scilly’s Trust, she says, is viewed as small but effective with an enviable diversity of wildlife, but money is always scarce, especially in these difficult financial times. There’s always a fear that money could dry up and she says they have to find creative ways to ensure they can continue to manage the islands’ landscape.

Sarah wants people to read the report, so they can see why they need to support their Wildlife Trust. And she says if people are shocked by it, then they need to write to their MPs to let them know.

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