PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
There are many actions we can take as individuals and communities to better protect our environment from pollution, invasive species or by improving habitat management. This page has some links and suggestions to download and share, and we’ll be adding more information over the coming months.
Misconnections: A misconnection is a term applied when the drainage from a building has been connected to the wrong sewage network, either a foul water connection to a surface water system or vice versa. They are the result of incorrect plumbing, and are polluting waterways across the country. Taking the time to make the right connection can, therefore, have huge implications – making it imperative that you connect right first time.
Visit www.connectright.org.uk for more information and to find an accredited plumber.
Blocked Drains: Every year around 8,000 Thames Water customers are affected by sewer flooding caused by people putting the wrong things down the drain. Cooking fat, oil, food waste, wet wipes and make-up pads all mix together in the sewers to create blockages called ‘fatbergs’. These fatbergs can grow so large that the sewers become completely blocked. Once this happens the consequences can be devastating, as raw sewage is forced back up into people’s homes.
Thames Water recommend that in the bathroom, only flush pee, poo and toilet paper down the loo. Everything else should go in the bin. In the kitchen, use something like an old jam jar, yoghurt pot or margarine tub to collect cooled cooking fat and oil. Simply fill the container then empty it into your food waste or rubbish bin. Please check with your local council to find out the best way to dispose of it in your area.
Biosecurity and Prevention: Biosecurity is about reducing the risk of introducing or spreading invasive non-native species (and other harmful organisms such as diseases) in the wild. The GB non-native species secretariat provides guidance on various aspects of biosecurity, including:
- Campaigns helping to raise awareness of the issues in the freshwater environment: Be Plant Wise and Check Clean Dry
- Guidance and resources for you to improve your biosecurity in the field
- Codes of practice and other information to help businesses and those importing goods and animals: Horticultural Code of Practice, Importing Goods and Products, Importation of Animals
- Guidance for gardeners and landscape gardeners on gardening without harmful species
Recording and reporting: There are many ways to record and report sighting of invasive species, notable native species that should be protected or pollution incidents. One of the easiest ways is with a ‘phone app, which are fun to use and provide guidance on identification. There are several free apps available from app stores, listed below, but there are also lots more out there. Records are sent from these apps to the NBN Gateway and local recording centres (TVERC).
Case Studies from Local Environment Groups: Some examples of how other groups are taking action for wildlife (for many more visit our State of Nature page):
- Getting outside help for their ambitious conservation project on old allotments off Iffley Road in Oxford – Oxford Urban Wildlife Group.
- How a management plan can give a focus for the group’s work – Mill Meadows.
- A Month by Month Action Plan – Woodcote Conservation Group.
- The value of Deadwood – Kirtlington Wildlife and Conservation Group.
- Introducing yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor L.) to enhance biodiversity in an ungrazed flood meadow – Hurst Water Meadow.
Managing gardens and small spaces for wildlife
- Focus on Bats
- Pollinators – Dr Judy Webb, freelance ecologist, species recorder and member of Oxford City Council’s Pollinator Advisory Group, is developing a series of downloadable advice sheets for people wanting to plant for pollinators in a variety of situations. These can be found on her website where you can follow links to get advice on planting for bees and all sorts of other pollinators
If you would like advice from a professional Ecologist. Search CIEEM website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.