This blog is a celebration of the nature in the South East and highlights ways you can get involved and explore nature in the region. If you've got news of the South East’s nature that you'd like to share, please contact the RSPB South East office on 01273 775333 or email SERComms@rspb.org.uk
If getting comedy right is all about timing,then my life's a tragedy.The day I go away on holiday I miss the peregrines on our webcam laying their first egg; they're presently sitting on four! Then on my holidays, a volcano erupts in Iceland, stranding my partner our three children and myself in Delhi.
All that aside. we've safely returned to the UK in time to watch the peregrine chicks hatch.... It could be election day when the first egg cracks. To ensure the future of these chicks and our fabulous London wildlife, we're asking people to sign our Letter to the Future. We'll be using this campaign to call upon politicians and our new Government to ensure all future investment delivers value for money by benefiting biodiversity.
A report commissioned by the RSPB found £12M worth of Government spending that could better help wildlife. All we ask is that spending on development includes a commitment to green space... spending on transport can ensure minimal impact on wildlife and that new energy should be clean and renewable.
If you're in any doubt about the rich variety of wildlife in London then I'd urge you to get out to a park, canal, garden or any green space this Bank Holiday. Once there, just give yourself 10 minutes to stand, watch and listen to the wind in the trees, the birds, bugs and the bees. Admire the blossom and the wildflowers and, if you're lucky, smell the scent of freshly cut grass. All of this is biodiversity and it's part of the life support system that sustains us. Doesn't it make sense to ensure it's protected for future generations?
Our ThamesWatch initiative is underway right now. David Lindo, TV's Urban Birder, took time out from his migratory bird monitoring 600 feet up (183m) on the roof of The City's tallest building, Tower 42, to give his support this week. You don't have to go as high, simply have a stroll along the banks of the Thames or one its tributaries and let us know what birds and bugs you see. There's a recording form you can download and just put a cross in the box for each species you see.
Consider it practice for Thursdays elections. We didn't want school pupils to miss out on the fun of voting so we're inviting schools to Vote for Nature. This is a classroom activity where children get to explore democracy and have to decide which of five threatened species they believe should be saved. It's a typical conservation dilema acted out all too often due to a shortage of funding!
Finally,one other idea for the Bank Holiday. Our Rye Meads nature reserve near Hoddesdon in the Lee Valley has kestrels and kingfishers sitting on eggs right now plus terns and gulls doing a fair impression of mods and rockers trying to intimidate each other with no clear winner.
Whatever you do this Bank Holiday, make sure you enjoy it.