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Something frightening is happening to the UK’s Halloween celebrities
It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the scary and spooky. ‘Creepy’ animals like bats and snakes suddenly take centre stage and we see them everywhere – in shops, on TV and film, and fancy dress. But what’s really scary is that one day, this might be the only way you get to see them. Bats, snakes, and other species are among the many declining in Britain at a terrifying rate. Just recently we contributed to the State of Nature 2019, which makes for pretty frightening reading. It describes Britain as ‘among the most nature-depleted countries in the world’; our work is more important than ever.
We make a difference for our native wildlife by finding new ways to help struggling species. Here are just a few of the creepy creatures we’re protecting not just for Halloween, but all year round.
What are we doing to help bats?
Cutting back certain woodland trees (coppicing) provides great conditions for dormice, but how does it affect bats? We’re finding out. Many bat species are under threat from loss of habitat, so we need to really understand their special needs to give them the best chance to thrive. We’ve also just launched a new campaign to save our nation’s hedgerows, which is good news for bats as they use hedgerows to navigate the landscape and for feeding on the invertebrates that make their homes in them.
Snakes, not so scary now
Although adders are common across Europe, they’ve seen a recent and worrying decline in the UK, especially the Midlands. It looks as though they’re now extinct in Nottinghamshire and disappearing from surrounding counties. We’re funding Hannah Bond to look at the feasibility of reintroducing adders to Nottinghamshire – the best way to do it, the impact on the local ecosystem and post-release monitoring.
Caring for creepy-crawlies
We’re learning how different bats react to traditional coppicing; whether bats that like denser habitats are negatively affected and which species thrive in a more open woodland. The findings will shape future woodland management plans for the direct benefit of our much loved bats.
Will you help us protect spooky species this Halloween?
You can learn more about these projects and what your donations are doing to help here: