Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Small and Perfectly Adapted

Conservation charities come in many sizes and conserve many things. The best known ones are the biggest, loudest ones but there are lots of little charities whose work and issues are just as important and whose staff and volunteers work just as hard, if not harder, to be heard. Buglife is one of these smaller charities with just over 15 staff members and based in a small office in Peterborough, which is where I visited them yesterday.

Buglife was launched in 2004 as the first charity in Europe to focus on the protection and conservation of invertebrates. Its work ranges from outreach events with young people and schools to challenging government policy on planning and brownfield development plans. They also carry out vital conservation work in the field to both protect and discover new knowledge of invertebrates throughout the U.K. If you are a member (or become a member) of Buglife you are in good company. Germaine Greer is their current President with Nick Baker (from Spring/Autumn Watch and Really Wild Show), Edward O Wilson (eminent authority of global biodiversity) and Steve Backshall (from Really Wild Show and The One Show) as Vice Presidents.

It's a lot easier to raise money for big fluffy animals than small wriggly ones but looking at previous Bug of the Month articles on the Buglife website reveals loads of fascinating creatures which are worth protecting, conserving and celebrating.  Here are just a few:

Prickly stick insect photo
Stick Insects are becoming common in the South West.
 Picture by Malcolm Lee

sunset cup coral
Sunset Cup Coral is found in a few locations off the U.K. coast.
Picture by Yoruno

photo of queen wasp and her nest
Common Wasp found through out the U.K.
Picture by Paul Padam
My  volunteering with Buglife yesterday involved looking at their online media presence and also an introduction into how the organisation works. I was very pleased to see that my Bug of the Month article on the Common wasp has received over 200 page views and was very interested to learn about the charities brownfield sites conservation work.  It was an exciting day and all the staff there were so welcoming (I didn't want to go home by the end of the day!). Thank you to everyone at Buglife, in particular to Dale who I'm working with, for looking after me and showing me the exciting work this great charity does.

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