Celebrating World Animal Day
Wednesday 4th October marks the international celebration of animals - World Animal Day.
While it may seem that other countries are blessed with rich wildlife, we hope that some of our readers have found happiness in witnessing the wonderful animals that call Milton Keynes' parks home.
Believe it or not, the UK was not always this seemingly barren landscape of farmland but a haven for wildlife of all kinds of species. Since the 1500s, we have seen 151 species that have become extinct on our islands, and an average of 19% of all UK species have seen a decline since the 1970s. As a result of biodiversity loss, the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. But it is not too late to reverse the damage that has been done. That is why celebrating World Animal Day is so important so that we can continue raising awareness and promoting the welfare of animals across the world.
From our largest mammals like deer and whales, to the smallest underappreciated insects like weevils and aphids, every animal is important. All wildlife is impacted by human activity, destruction and attitudes. But equally, all can be saved by our hope, passion and determination.
What can you do to help?
In today's society, we have so many opportunities to make noise, create waves and encourage change for the better. You can start small and make your own personal challenges - such as following signs to keep dogs on lead in sensitive areas to protect small mammals and ground-nesting birds or welcoming animals in your local garden by creating a Mini Pond or Bug Hotel. There are so many things that you can do to make a difference - whether that's getting involved in a local volunteer group such as the Milton Keynes Natural History Society or simply sharing a petition for implementing action for nature.
Remember not to feel overwhelmed by the issues that are presented in the world's current state. If the whole human population cared about every conservation problem, then everything would be solved!
What are we doing at The Parks Trust?
With a dedicated team of Biodiversity Officers, Landscape Officers and Community Engagement Staff, we have a multidimensional model to tackle the decline of wildlife. Firstly, we record and monitor all habitats under our care, searching critically for endangered and scarce species. Secondly, we protect and manage these habitats to both encourage the survival and growth of animal populations. And, equally important is our scheme to engage with local people and communicate the importance of the work that we carry out. Not only do we inform, but we take feedback from the public that is considered in our management plans. You can even get involved with our work and help us maintain the parks we care for by becoming a volunteer.
This World Animal Day, try to do something positive for the incredible species that live across the city's green spaces. Learn about a new species, go on a walk, sign a petition, or simply read a book to educate yourself more about animals. Every step to increasing our population’s appreciation of animals is always a positive one!
We also love to see all the wildlife photos that you take in the parks - please feel free to share them with us on social media using the hashtag #TheParksTrust or tagging us at @TheParksTrust. You may just be lucky enough to feature on our feed!