Welcome to Uttlesford Wildlife.
This website is provided to give information about the wildlife that can be found in the rural countryside of Uttlesford District, around and between Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted in north-west Essex. To find nature reserves and other sites of interest go to Places to Visit.
Although, in common with the rest of the country, this area has suffered from the impacts of development and intensive farming, there are still many places where rare species and attractive habitats can be found. The picture in our logo is Crested Cow-wheat, and Uttlesford is now one of the last parts of the UK where this species can be found. You can read more about this species on the Saffron Walden Museum website.
Ancient woodland with Oxlips, and chalk grassland roadside verges are specialities of the area. There are also marsh sites in our river valleys, and traditional orchards, all offering opportunities to see many wildflowers including orchids.
Uttlesford District Council launches new Biodiversity Survey
Our local District Council has opened a new on-line Biodiversity survey on July 26th as part of its Local Plan making process, as set out in a news posting here https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/article/7278/Council-launches-new-biodiversity-mapping-tool
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Uttlesford District Council has launched a biodiversity mapping tool that enables residents to tell the council about local sites with important biodiversity or that have the potential to be havens for plants, animals and insects.
The webpage invites people to drop a pin on a map of Uttlesford indicating the location and then answering five simple questions. It can be any type of site and as small as a road verge or corner of a churchyard.
If you believe a site has the potential to improve or restore biodiversity or needs to be nurtured the council wants to hear from you.
According to the Wildlife Trust’s ‘State of Nature’ report the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and has lost 60% of its important wildlife in the past 50 years.
Cllr Louise Pepper, cabinet member for Environment & Green Issues, said: “Improving our biodiversity is vitally important – it is essential to the health and enjoyment of our countryside.
“We want to hear from local residents, children and school nature projects, local nature groups and the many people who regularly walk our countryside. They are the people who know their area best.”
As the map gathers more and more sites all the ‘pins’ will be visible for people to see what is happening in their area and elsewhere in the district.
The sites submitted on the completed map will be considered alongside the evidence base for the local plan and will also indicate candidates for a district council-led programme of assisting biodiversity through expertise and funding.
The map can be accessed via https://uttlesfordbiodiversitymap.commonplace.is/
Help a Hedgehog today
Our gardens are an important habitat for Hedgehogs, which have suffered a massive population drop over the last few decades. Watch this cute video to see how to make your garden Hedgehog friendly. And if you are driving at night and see a Hedgehog on the road in front of you, stop the car and help it get to the side of the road !
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A set of photos taken in this area to show the changing seasons.
Daws Grove Verge
The Special Roadside Verges provide a reminder of the botanical riches once found on meadow grassland, but which is now confined to a very few road verges. The Daws Grove verge is featured on the Cycle Ride 1 that you will find on the Walks and Rides page, and is among the best remaining in Essex. © Tony Morton
EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY
Earth Overshoot Day 2020 landed on August 22 more than 3 weeks later than 2019. In 2021, it fell on July 29, earlier and therefore worse. Earth Overshoot Day 2022 lands on July 28. But the bad news for the UK is that its Overshoot Day was May 19th.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. COVID-19 caused humanity’s Ecological Footprint to contract, demonstrating that shifting resource consumption patterns in a short timeframe is possible. However, true sustainability that allows all to thrive on Earth can only be achieved by design, not disaster. Read More here to see how it is calculated and possible solutions