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Plea to look out for wildlife this winter

Author: 
John Freeman
Robin on a bird feeder. Image courtesy
Lancashire Environment Record Network
Nature lovers are being asked to capture the wildlife in Lancashire’s gardens and open spaces to ensure our native creatures are surviving another harsh winter.

The Lancashire Environment Record Network wants Lancastrians to “catch” birds and mammals by noting them down as they seek food on bird tables, in hedges and on lawns and ponds.

LERN collects and maintains records of wildlife in the county and then passes that information on to individuals and organisations helping to protect Lancashire’s environment. The aim of all this data collection is to build up a picture of Lancashire’s wildlife and plantlife and the environment in which they live, but it cannot do this without the help of hundreds of residents, walkers, runners and anyone who spends time in their area, keeping an eye out for the wonders of nature.

Winter is an important time of year to help understand how our wildlife is coping.

“Many people worry about wildlife at this time of year and it is great to know that they put food onto bird tables to help them get through these tough winters we are experiencing," says LERN Communications Officer Alan Wright.

“Our job is to record the variety of wildlife that is active year round which can help check whether numbers are being affecting by this freezing weather. If you take a note of regular visitors to your garden and then contact LERN you are then helping wildlife a number of different ways.

A blue tit in a garden. Image courtesy Lancashire Environment Record Network
"Every January the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds run their Big Garden Birdwatch where up to 400,000 people take part, but we're keen to receive records from the public throughout the year."

LERN’s data is used by local and national groups who are investigating populations of various plants and animals. County figures are important as part of a national picture when it comes to assessing the health of our environment.

“By helping LERN you are actually providing information that could be used regionally, nationally and on a global scale," Alan explains. "Scientists are warning us that species are vanishing every day and we any data is vital to monitor the situation, so plans can be put into place to start to rectify the situation.”

He added that feeding birds and other wildlife over winter gives the creatures a vital source of nutrition to help through the freezing cold weather.

• LERN can be contacted by emailinglern@lancashire.gov.uk or by going to the website www.lancspartners.org/lern

• RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
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