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MELKSHAM is being encouraged to ‘go wild’ in 2022 to help support local wildlife.
Melksham Goes Wild is a new local group committed to raising awareness about the biodiversity and ecological crisis affecting the planet and how everyone can do their bit – big or small – to help.
“We have a climate crisis going on,” said Liz Jarvis from Melksham Goes Wild, “but we also have a biodiversity and eco crisis, and Melksham Goes Wild is particularly concerned about the plight of pollinators, insect life and small mammals.
“There has been a drastic drop in the population of insects, particularly bees and the pollinators, and that’s a disaster all round, both from an aesthetic point of view and the ecological balance point of view.
“We have diminishing wild spaces around farmland, and modern gardens tend to be very neat today, which is very anti-nature, and the use of pesticides is also a disaster area.
“So we’re trying to coordinate activities in Melksham to help support pollinators, and that means helping people to think about it as a problem, encouraging people to make a bit of their garden ‘wild’.
“And personally, I’m a grandmother and I want my grandchildren to know what a peacock butterfly looks like for example, that’s important to me!”
The group began their awareness campaign in 2021, encouraging people to make ‘seed bombs’ at the Melksham Food and River Festival. But for 2022, the group will be stepping up their campaign.
They plan to host a workshop in the Assembly Hall in April, with guest speaker Paul Jupp from Meadow in my Garden; raise awareness of the Blue Heart campaign, which encourages gardeners, local councils, and anybody who owns and manages a green space to allow it to ‘go wild’ and manage it for wildlife; and work with the town council to develop the wildflower area in King George V park. “Which will hopefully be something people can see and become curious about,” said Liz.
The group also has ambitions to work with local councils, organisations, groups and residents to develop a strategic vision about how the town as a collective can support pollinators, insects and small mammals.
“Let’s get everyone in a room together and start talking about what we can do to make change in the town as a collective,” said Liz. “Let’s, as a town, start to develop a vision – we want to make things happen!
“There’s lots of evidence around about how quickly these ‘wild’ areas support the return of butterflies, insect life, and all sorts of variations of wildflowers- it’s astonishing how quickly nature adapts.”
In preparation for the year ahead, Melksham Goes Wild is looking for volunteers to get involved.
“People don’t need to have an expertise,” said Liz, “just a passion for this subject and a willingness to have a go.
“And anyone who made a seed bomb with us at our stall at the Food and River Festival, we’d love to see your progress – please share your photos on our Facebook page.”
To find out more about Melksham Goes Wild and to get involved, search for ‘Melksham Goes Wild’ on Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org