Local Conservation Groups

Joining local conservation groups

For anyone who feels like the problems in conservation are too big, and the efforts too small, to ever make a difference, I advocate joining local conservation groups. They’re all over the U.K. in vast numbers, and you can find one to fit almost any niche interest. From groups that focus on clearing up local green spaces, to groups that survey and record protected species, to groups promoting using bicycles for transportation, there is an organisation out there for you. There are so many benefits, both for you and the organisation.

Why join local conservation groups?

It’s a step in the right direction. All it takes is one person to start making a conscious decision to actively improve the planet, and a ripple effect can happen. By donating some of your time and energy, you’ve given the world something precious – a real commitment to making the world a better place for everyone, even if just in a small amount. There’s always a need for people who care enough to step up and start helping out in any way. The community of people you join are always happy to see a new face.

What will you get out of it?

Aside from the feel-good effect of doing good in your local community, there are many more benefits to joining. You can expand your body of knowledge – for example, a Yorkshire Mammal Group meeting I recently attended had a fascinating talk by Dr. Dan Franks on why transient killer whales experience menopause. Many times you can gain practical conservation skills, like how to identify species, which can be really useful if you plan on making a career in conservation, or anything that involves wildlife. Sometimes, you get to see animals you might not otherwise. If you’re keen to see harbour seals, lampreys, porpoises, otters, stoats, badgers, etc, then the first step is to go out with a group of experienced people! Conservation groups are full of folks from diverse backgrounds, with interesting stories to tell and a shared dedication to improve matters around the community and globally.

How do groups benefit?

Groups get a lot of good from new members. Financially, the small membership fees many local conservation groups request get used to great effect. These help run the organisation, like booking venues, organising trips, and producing literature to raise awareness. Many times, donations from individuals are used to access many more times that amount from grants and funding, that would otherwise be inaccessible. The bigger a group is, the more political clout it has to lobby policy-makers and effect real change. Furthermore, people can network, share ideas for types of funding, come up with new ways to promote awareness. If that isn’t enough, conservation groups help people make friends with people who share the same interests and passions. It means a lot to start a group, and it’s rewarding to see it grow.

Local Conservation Groups

Grassroots movements like local conservation groups are the cornerstone of protecting the environment. It is such an effective method to use small, local efforts to create huge effects. It’s a fantastic way to see real, tangible ways that you can make an immediate difference. By googling ‘local conservation groups’, you take the first steps to fining a way to give back to the community, investing in yourself, your area, and the planet.

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Elena Ruiz

Elena Ruiz

Full-time MRes student, part-time baking enthusiast.
Elena Ruiz

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