The Moving Mountains Nature Network - How it Works

When I was young, I saw a Kingfisher flash along the River Cole in Hall Green, Birmingham. It ignited a love for nature that has burned inside me to this day. The countryside of Staffordshire and the marvellous work of Sir David Attenborough fed my desire.

I have set up a blog that records the wildlife in my local LNR - Smestow Valley. I have also recently been invited to join the Advisory Group that works with Wolverhampton City Council and the Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust to help manage the site.

My father taught me never to have boundaries and when I lost a son, I walked, without a break, from Aberdovey to Wolverhampton to raise money for the school and church that he would have attended. I have endless energy and enthusiasm. 

I recently read the ground-breaking "State of Nature" report and it has moved me to action and led to my wanting to convert ideas to reality........


To create a NETWORK that brings together "GUARDIANS" - individuals or organisations that have the ability to do 4 things:
1. Record and report on the nature present within their "patch" of land.
2. Carry out coordinated surveys of wildlife species within their patch
3. Be able to help us work with schools and places of worship, within, or near, their patch, in order to create a nation of children and communities who appreciate and want to protect our amazing wildlife.
4. Commit to helping with fund-raising


ALL ARE EQUAL!!!! The "STATE OF BIRDS" reports over the years have shown that the volunteer is just as valuable as the resourced organisations!!
Therefore "Guardians" can be:
1. An individual who regularly watches and records wildlife on their "local patch" of LNR, NNR etc.
2. A club or local group that records and has a role and influence within an area of land designated for nature
3. The head warden of a reserve e.g. RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts etc.
4. A council that controls a range of parks and designated sites.


OK so we have surveys, 1,000's of Nature Reserves and the enormous power of protection provided by Natural England and our UK wildlife non-government organisations (NGOs)

So what am I proposing that is new and guaranteed to blow the socks off every nature lover in the U.K?


To move a mountain requires an immense force!!!!:
1. There are over 1,500 Local Nature Reserves covering over 35,000ha
2. There are over 220 National Nature Reserves covering over 95,000ha
3. There are 4,100 SSSI's covering 8% of England's land area
4. There are over 200 RSPB reserves covering 131,000ha
5. There are 2,300 Wildlife Trust Reserves covering 93,000ha
6. Special Areas of Conservation cover 1.5 million ha representing 10% of England’s land area
7. There are over 1,057km of Heritage Coasts covering 35% of the English coastline
8. There are many other Country Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, and other designated sites.
9. 75% of the UK land area that is subject to farming.

The objective of the "Moving Mountain's" project is to create a network of "Guardians" covering as much of the above areas as possible. 

By liaising with the NGOs, surveys, education projects and fund-raising campaigns can be coordinated and passed down to the guardians. Guardians at ground level can also identify local areas of land that are of great value to wildlife but are not designated or protected. Campaigns can be run with the NGO's to raise funds to purchase, protect and manage such new sites.


To demonstrate how powerful this project can be, I have chosen to use my local patch and illustrate how the network would work by hypothetical example:

E.g. Guardian Tasks for Smestow Valley May 2014:

1. Complete survey of Bumblebees in the valley.
2. Complete butterfly survey for the valley.
3. Attend local School to provide a talk on the nature of Smestow Valley and to hand out National Garden Bird Survey information.
4. Distribute fund-raising material (sponsored butterfly watch), through local schools , places of worship and businesses.
5. Provide an update on the valley blog regarding the success of a "Moving Mountains" fund-raiser to help an NGO purchase an area of Peat bog.
6. Provide archives of Willow Tit records in the valley and current status.

Now the vision is complete: 


Let’s assume that MMNN has just 500 guardians covering patches that are not managed and funded by NGO's, and each had contact with 5 schools, each holding an average of 500 pupils

Using the May 2014 hypothetical example above, let’s look at the power:

1. Surveys - there would be 500 surveys for Bumblebees, Butterflies and Willow Tit provided across the UK
2. Education - 2,500 schools filled with our next pool of potential nature enthusiasts or Sir David Attenborough’s would participate (1,250,000 children!!)
3. Fund-raising - Assuming each site holds 3 events a year, with each site event raising just £500 from schools, places of worship and local businesses: on this conservative basis, an incredible £750,000 will have been raised in a year towards the purchase and protection of a British peat bog!!!!! (MMNN could also co-ordinate additional initiatives that raise money for local biodiversity projects)


The plight of the Bumblebee and its effect on crop yields, break-downs in eco-systems, following the loss of key species, further extremes in weather - are examples of how the state of nature will affect the world more and more over the coming years. Nature conservation will, hopefully, before it's too late, move to the centre of politics. 

I want all those in power and who already hold a passion for nature to act now. Despite the amazing efforts to protect the UK's wildlife, biodiversity continues to decline. 

MMNN can support the NGOs and act as a catalyst, increasing awareness, participation, recording and wildlife resources. We want 2020 biodiversity goals for the UK met!


Do you manage a park or reserve? Or are you simply like me…. A nature lover and patch watcher who records what you see?

If you support the ethos of what MMNN is trying to achieve, join today.

It's easy and instructions can be found on our home page.

Together, we really can make a difference!!

Thank you.

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