Nature group in Felixstowe determined to save local wildlife

Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve are encouraging people to record the wildlife.Rosa, Eco Ambass

Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve are encouraging people to support their local wildlife. One of the most enthusiastic members is Rosa, who is the Eco Ambassador for Trimley St Martin Primary School. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A flourishing nature group in Felixstowe has dedicated an area of land the size of a football pitch to local flora and fauna. 

Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve was founded in 2015 and has captured the passion of local people.

They have since grown to an incredible 1,700 members, each and every one of them determined to do what they can to stop the decline of local wildlife. 

The group encourages its members to put aside at least three-square yards of land in their gardens, allotments, or even to simply place flowerpots and window boxes on their balconies. 

'Bug hotels' are a fantastic way to support local wildlife, says Dr Cooper.

'Bug hotels' are a fantastic way to support local wildlife, says Dr Cooper. - Credit: Gill Atacocugu

From this, a ‘patchwork quilt’ of land has emerged across Felixstowe, providing refuge and sustenance for flora and fauna.  

Group Founder and Chair, Dr Adrian Cooper is delighted with the way the group has taken off. 

“We’ve had great success,” he says proudly. “We’ve especially got a lot of enthusiasm amongst the young people. They all want to be like Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough!” 

Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve are particularly encouraging young people to record the wildlife.

Felixstowe's Community Nature Reserve are particularly encouraging young people to record the wildlife. Here, Dr Adrian Cooper and Rosa examine the wildlife around them. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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This is particularly important, as Dr Adrian is determined that his group’s efforts will leave a legacy for generations to come. 

Gill Atacocuga was appointed schools ambassador in 2021 and the group is looking forward to working closely with schools in the community this year, among them Colneis Junior School, Fairfield Infants and Trimley St Martin.

Dr Adrian is particularly excited about an event planned for summer which is set to take the community by storm, although precisely what it is, he says, we will have to wait to find out. 

Members of Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve are encouraged to "re-wild" parts of their gardens for local flora and fauna.

Members of Felixstowe Community Nature Reserve are encouraged to "re-wild" parts of their gardens for local flora and fauna. - Credit: Gill Atacocugu

The group has gone from strength to strength, being featured in the RSPB’s Home Nature magazine in early 2021.

Their ideas have also been adopted by ten other nature groups in the UK, amongst them Ipswich Community Nature Reserve and Transition Woodbridge. 

“People might look at their garden, and wonder why all the wildlife is going next door to the neighbours,” says Dr Cooper. “So, we encourage people to grow plants which will, for example, benefit the bee population, which is falling rapidly. 

“We’ll share plants which bees love on our Facebook page. Bees are essential to the ecosystem. Then, people will notice that other forms of wildlife are attracted to their gardens. 

“We’ve had a wonderful response from the community.”