Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Do One Thing to Save Nature

Our wildlife is in trouble. My Christmas exhibition, which runs at my gallery in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, from November 7-29th, is aimed at raising awareness for endangered species through art. 

Here I've picked some UK species you can help bring back from the brink and suggested one thing you can do. I hope my paintings inspire you to action! 

Hedgehog in Autumn Leaves,
limited edition print
 by Robert E Fuller
The rapid decline of hedgehogs is due to the effect of climate change on hibernation patterns, road casualties and the increased use of pesticides, especially slug pellets.
What can you do Slug pellets kill hedgehogs. Encourage hedgehogs to eat your slugs instead of using pesticides. Attract a hedgehog to your garden by building them a house to hibernate in - an old log pile will do. Websites such as Hedgehog Street have some fun suggestions for hedgehog houses.

Squirrel Nutkin,
Limited edition print
by Robert E Fuller
Red Squirrels
With just 14,000 left, this is one of Britain’s most endangered species. Its decline is mainly due to invasive grey squirrels, a loss of habitat and squirrel pox.
What can you do Grey squirrels have to be kept under control and charities that tackle this need support.

Lapwing Study
Acrylic painting
by Robert E Fuller

Due to intensive farming practises, there are now just 140,000 breeding pairs left in the UK.
What you can do: Farmers: take advantage of stewardship schemes to protect them and to compensate you for productivity losses. Walkers: keep dogs on a lead during the breeding season so they don’t disturb eggs and young hatchlings.

Black Grouse Lek
Oil painting
by Robert E Fuller
Black Grouse
Dramatic changes to moorlands means there are just 5,000 males left.
What you can do Drink whisky!! Distillers Famous Grouse have teamed up with the RSPB to restore heather and low shrubs on moorland reserves for these birds. A percentage from the sale of each Black Grouse bottle goes to this scheme.

Grey Partridge
Not to be confused with red-legged partridges, English, or, native, greys appear on the RSPB's red list of birds in crisis. Controversially where greys are managed as game, numbers are recovering.
What you can do: Support the Game Conservancy Trust’s work to preserve the insects and provide nesting cover for them.

Tree Sparrows
Numbers of tree sparrows have dropped by 93%.
What you can do: Put nest boxes up in the garden. Tree sparrows are social birds that live in colonies so site boxes next to each other or build a sparrow terrace. Below is a terrace I built.

Barn Owl
Oil Painting
by Robert E Fuller
Barn Owls
On the Yorkshire Wolds, where winters can be extreme, populations have reached a dangerous low.
What you can do: Farmers: barn owls eat voles, which live in rough grassland: set aside field margins for them. Gardeners: Don’t trim the roadside verges outside your home where these owls hunt.

Butterflies and Bees
Three quarters of UK’s butterfly species have halved in the last decade and bees are suffering a serious decline too.
What you can do: Plant wildflowers to provide nectar. A variety of native species with early and late flowering plants will provide nectar all year round. Butterflies like warmth so choose a sunny spot.

Yellow Hammer
Oil Painting
by Robert E Fuller
Garden Birds
House sparrows and starlings are among the worst hit species. Others like yellow hammers or willow warblers are increasingly rare.
What you can do: Put food out over winter. Seeds and fat bars are best. If you can, provide water. A pond gives clean water to bathe and drink. In winter, break the ice on the ponds. Cats are one of the causes of decline. Keep cats in at night when they do most harm.

1 comment:

  1. Great article! If you want to know about wildlife artists. Mark Hutchinson is good choice because he is a good wild man.