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Glasgow City Council

Call to support Glasgow's response to the global ecological emergency

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

Robroyston LNR

Anyone concerned about Glasgow's natural world is being urged to help shape the city's response to the global ecological emergency.

The council is currently seeking the views of the public to support the work of the Ecological Emergency Working Group, which has been convened to find ways to enhance and protect more than 6000 species currently found in Glasgow.

With the public consultation due to close on March 20, chair of working group, Councillor Martha Wardrop, is calling upon Glasgow citizens to help shape the city's response to the emergency.

As part of the wider recognition of the climate emergency, the council declared an ecological emergency in May 2019 in the knowledge that up to one million species across the world face extinction because of human actions.

According to the report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the loss of pollinating insects and other ecological disasters are no lesser a threat than climate change

The council currently supports the city's ecology through various initiatives such as the Local Biodiversity Action and Pollinator Plan, the Glasgow Open Space Strategy, Land Management and State of Nature plans. The effectiveness of these plans in the context of the ecological emergency will be assessed as part of the working group's remit.

But to assist with the development of any recommendations, Councillor Wardrop is seeking people's suggestions on what actions are needed to enhance habitats for nature and wildlife in Glasgow.

Through the consultation, she is hoping the working group can source the public view on the approach to take to the ecological emergency, how ambitious the working group should be in its outlook and what resources we can draw upon.

Councillor Wardrop said: "Whilst there is an existing green network of nature reserves, woodlands, greenspaces, and public Parks which supports protected species, these areas could be enhanced alongside our derelict land which has become naturalised.

"This consultation is an opportunity for a wide range of ideas to be put forward to support open spaces and nature reserves within our Dear Green Place. The findings of the consultation will be crucial in the development of plans to increase partnership working with communities to plant pollinator friendly wildflowers and support nature conservation."

Details of the consultation can be found on the consultation hub of the council's website. Click link to access the page.


Volunteers have a vital role in creating house sparrow habitats across Glasgow before surveying these sites to see how they were used by the sparrows and other species.

Peter, a RSPB volunteer, said: 'During my internship with RSPB Scotland I helped create and survey wildflower habitat for house sparrows across Glasgow. The wildflower patches were easy and cheap to make, and were a great success for house sparrows.

"We found that all of our wildflower patches enhanced numbers of pollinators, with the biggest patches being best for house sparrows. It would be great to see lots more habitat creation work across Glasgow.  It was wonderful to meet lots of people who obviously enjoyed the wildflowers too."

Declines in the health and population of pollinators pose a significant threat to the integrity of biodiversity, to global food networks, and to people's health.

Kirsty, a volunteer with Butterfly Conservation, commented on the importance of supporting nature.

Kirsty said: "I started volunteering because I was concerned about the loss of our wildflower meadows and the impact that was having on biodiversity.  Attending the Butterfly Conservation workshops on identification and recording gave me the knowledge and confidence to take on a transect this year. 

"It has been such a pleasure to watch the butterflies and see what plants they are feeding on.  But while observing them I've seen lots of other wildlife and felt really connected to the environment around me. It's very exciting to spot new things and I'm learning all the time. 

"It also helps me relax as I'm so busy focusing on what is around me that I forget about any worries.  It's great that Butterfly Conservation is working with the council to create more wildflower meadows in public parks, not only because of the wildlife they will attract, but because more people will benefit from the therapeutic value of seeing that wildlife."

Picture shows Robroyston Local Nature Reserve, one of twelve local nature reserves in Glasgow.

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

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