If you went down to the woods that day..



Last weekend saw us launch a brand new initiative here at SOS - our very first 'Wildlife Weekend', held in a bid to encourage our visitors to think a little bit more about our planet and the impact we have on it, with specific regard to the flora and fauna of the region.

As it turned out we couldn't have planned our event to take place at a more appropriate time, with environmental issues hitting the headlines just about everywhere we looked!  The week preceding our event saw the BBC hold its 'Saving Planet Earth' campaign, which raised over £1,25m for a new charity called the BBC Wildlife Fund.  For  more information on the projects it has pledged to sponsor, go to
www.bbc.co.uk/savingplanetearth

The Saturday of our ‘do’ was also the day of the 'Live Earth' event - a 24-hour, 7-continent series of concerts that brought together more than 100 top-line artists  which attracted a global audience of around 2 billion people for its message about solving the current climate crisis of global warming! This event marked the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by various international organisations to persuade individuals, corporations and governments to take action to solve these problems. If you would like to know more about the Live Earth campaign go to www.liveearth.org

Our own initiative was on a rather more reduced scale, though (we felt) equally as significant in its own way because as we too want people to realise that if you seriously want to conserve wildlife and the environment, then you really need look no further than your own back yard!

For our event we gathered together as many different wildlife, conservation and rehabilitation groups from across the region as possible to illustrate the incredible diversity of wildlife there is to be seen, studied and enjoyed right here on our East Anglian doorstep.

Organisations such as the R.S.P.B, Ipswich Wildlife Care & Rescue, and The Hawk & Owl Trust were all represented at the event, where we showed many aspects of countryside management from badgers to butterflies, hedgehogs to red squirrels, bats to dragonflies, and songbirds to amphibians.



In regard to the latter, we held some popular pond dipping sessions in our Woodland Walk to show young visitors how easy it is to encourage wildlife into your own garden!  These pond-dipping sessions were great fun and also allowed many of the adults present to relive childhood memories with the aid of jam-jars & nets a-plenty.

The pod dipping also gave us the opportunity to highlight the current plight of frogs, which are in decline globally. As indicators of environmental change due to the fact that the skin through which they breath is incredibly sensitive to ultra-violet radiation, they are suffering on increasing scales due to the depletion of the ozone layer.  If you would like to know the facts  behind the frog's plight, go to
www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/howse.html



Finally, I would like to thank the SOS Volunteer Team who played a vital role in support on the day, as usual making an incredibly selfless and essential contribution to the running events at the centre.  Thanks guys - much appreciated!