The spotlight on...Green Recovery for Morecambe Bay’s Woodland Project Butterfly Conservation

Date posted: 1st January 2022

Every month we will feature a different voluntary, community or faith sector organisation across the Bay. This time the spotlight is on…Green Recovery for Morecambe Bay’s Woodland Project Butterfly Conservation.

Green Recovery for Morecambe Bay’s Woodland Project Butterfly Conservation wants to offer opportunities to groups and individuals within the Morecambe Bay area who don't usually have access to nature to come out and carry out woodland management work, not only to benefit the local nature but also to benefit their mental and physical health and help combat loneliness and isolation.

Why was your organisation founded?

Green Recovery said: "In 2020 Butterfly Conservation received a grant from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The Fund brings forward funding for environmental charities and their partners to start work on projects to protect species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, and connecting people with nature. The limestone woodlands and grasslands bordering Morecambe Bay are the UK stronghold of the rare High Brown Fritillary and are also home to Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Northern Brown Argus, Silver-washed Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy butterflies. These species require traditional woodland management to maintain their habitats in optimum condition. Woodland Coppice work was carried out throughout the Morecambe bay area in the past but a decline in this traditional management means that many of the areas where these species live have declined in condition. The project works with local contractors and local volunteers to help restore these limestone grassland and woodlands. We have been working with local residents and groups to show how important the woodlands are for the local wildlife, educated local people about the wildlife on their doorstep, but also to show how being out in the woodlands and working in nature is good for your physical and mental health."

What does your organisation offer?

Green Recovery said: "Since April 2021 we have run several different experiences within the woods. We have done woodland management including felling trees, making habitat piles and burning brash on bonfires. We have carried out traditional woodland crafts – including making pea sticks, bean poles, weaved hazel wreaths. We have made lump and artist charcoal. We have run a number of local artist-led days including lino printing and charcoal art lessons. We have cooked potatoes on the fire and provided lunch for the volunteers. We have run identification walks in the summer catching, identifying and releasing butterflies and we have run a number of moth identification days – the moth diversity has been amazing. We provide an opportunity to socialise with other people, to experience nature hands-on and to learn about the local environment. Working in the woods provides the 5 ways to Wellbeing: Connect – Connecting with nature in a hands-on way; Be active – It's active work although we can tailor it so the less able can join in; Keep learning – Knowledgeable staff on all wildlife, we can keep it simple or more complex; Give – Participants provide valuable help to restore habitats lost through the end of traditional woodland management and Take Notice – There is so much to notice even when the sun is not shining - bird song, signs of animal activity."

How many people use your services every year?

Green Recovery said: "We have only been running since the end of lockdown in April 2021 and we have had over 500 people in the woodland. We have worked with a number of organisations including Adullam, The Well - Barrow, Lighthouse – Kendal, Haverigg Prison, Witherslack School and Dallam Boarders. We have also had a large number of individuals who have come to the monthly wood banks in Hutton Roof, Dalton Crags Wood and Grange-Over-Sands."

Feedback from people using the service:

“I enjoy the outdoors and an opportunity to take time to garden as part of a group was really nice. The location was perfect, very beautiful and accessible.”

Are there any opportunities to get involved?

Green Recovery said: "To find out the latest information and details on events people can follow us on Facebook by clicking here."

You can download a PDF version of the case study at the BHCP website here

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