Young people are disconnected from the wildlife around them, putting our wildlife at risk. If people don’t understand or care about something, why would they look after or protect it?
We are the Wild Cardiff Hour team, a group of young conservationists who are committed to the protection of our wildlife through making learning about the nature around us fun, engaging and accessible.
Research from Natural England has shown that 73% of Adults had a patch of nature near their home over half went there at least once or twice a week. Now 64% of children say they have a patch of nature near their home but less than a quarter go there once or twice a week.
We know that being out in nature is good for your development and health but it also allows you to understand the natural world.
A 2017 RSPB “Birdwatch” survey assessed nature knowledge in parents. Of the 2,000 adults, half couldn’t identify a house sparrow, and a fifth thought a red kite wasn’t a bird. But nine out of 10 said they wanted children to learn about common British wildlife.
So how do we connect entire communities who have become disconnected from nature? We needed a solution which was accessible for all, and targets our core demographic of people under 30.
Many bigger campaigns rely on an existing connection with nature, charities rely on members, societies and local interest groups rely on those with prior knowledge and contacts.
We are building a connection from scratch. So how do we involve more isolated communities who are new to nature?
In the UK, 67% of the population use social media, nearly half of which are between the ages of 18 and 34. So here at Wild Diff, we’re basing our campaign on social media to engage with this demographic.
The Connectedness Of Nature study has shown that if communities feel connected to nature, they will be less likely to harm it. With 75% of europeans living in urban areas, by protecting our cities wildlife, we are creating a future where our we are able to better understand and care for our wildlife, as neighbours.
We believe Cardiff can lead the way in building a better relationship between us and our wildlife, and we at Wild Diff are here to create the spark.
Our plan is to generate interest of nature in the disengaged firstly by using and promoting a hashtag on social media- specifically, using the hashtag "WildCardiffHour" on photos of nature or tweets about nature in Cardiff on Instagram and Twitter. Nature, in this case refers to all forms of nature, from fungi growing in forests, to wildlife in nature reserves or parks to natural sceneries at a specific time of the week, to start a conversation.
We want to get as many people using the hashtag as possible and eventually, when enough movement has been created and enough promotion has taken place we plan to host an organised nature walk and promote again using our hashtag. We will create a poll on Twitter and gather feedback from users of the hashtag as to where this walk should take place and then plan according to the top pick. This event we believe will be a good way to bring together all people with varying levels of experience and interest in nature and be a brilliant opportunity to bring in our hashtag again. It will also be a great way to get feedback from our followers and assess our campaign's impact, signalling the end of our campaign.
On Tuesday evenings join in with #WildCardiffHour and share an image of the wildlife on your doorstep!