The Wildlife Trusts has announced a new £6m fund to support rewilding projects across the UK. The programme, entitled ‘Transforming Nature’s Recovery’, has been designed to help support UK nature and reverse declines in wildlife. This comes as the latest State of Nature report unveiled that a staggering 40% of UK species are declining and 15% of British wildlife are threatened with extinction. As the British Trust for Ornithology has reported, the number of wild birds in Britain has declined by 73 million over the past 50 years. With birds being an apex species, the state of British birds is an accurate tell of the natural environment as a whole. As such, the experts at Birda, a birdwatching app and social media platform, emphasise the urgent need for global conversations to take place locally.
According to data by Birda, nearly one fifth of Brits now report having seen only three types of birds in their local areas, with a further 31% unaware of how to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts in their own communities. It is therefore imperative for Brits to forge a connection with nature and actively participate in its preservation, with a 2015 study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management finding that wildlife recreationists were four to five times more likely to engage in conservation behaviours compared to non-recreationists. These behaviours include donating to support local conservation efforts, enhancing wildlife habitat on public lands, advocating for wildlife recreation, and participating in local environmental groups. For users of the Birda app, all data collected is sent to conservationists who work on mapping and protecting local habitats.
In an effort to foster community-focused conservation, Birda has launched an inclusive birdwatching app designed for individuals of all experience levels, from novices to seasoned birdwatchers. The app allows users to explore and appreciate the nature that surrounds them, whether they reside in the countryside or in urban areas. Birda provides a free and user-friendly tool for logging the birdlife observed during walks and encourages everyone to engage in the preservation of nature and wildlife.
Birda co-Founders, John and Natalie White, discuss the creation of Birda:
“Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of birdwatching as a means of connecting people with nature. We believe that people need to experience the natural world before they fight to protect it. We believe that nature is for everyone, and we know that spending time connecting with it makes people happier and healthier. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or just starting out, we want everyone to feel included and welcomed.