At SOS-UK, we strive to do our best for the environment, wildlife, and those around us. Today we celebrate what Students Organising for Sustainability UK is doing to help wildlife and how you can get involved in wildlife-related activities to better your knowledge and support the wildlife around you.
SOS-UK are about to begin a project wilding 30% of the grounds at 12 secondary schools across England!
For 2024, SOS-UK is offering biodiversity action weeks as part of the work engaging students in residences, including a week focused on supporting local wildlife.
SOS-UK have joined The Pesticide Collaboration, run by Pesticide Action Network UK and the RSPB. Pesticides harm many things we care about, yet the area of land treated by pesticides has increased by 63% since 1990. The body of evidence revealing the harms caused by pesticides to human health and the natural world is also increasing. The Pesticide Collaboration brings environmental organisations together to reduce pesticide-related harms. Our gardens should be havens for wildlife, take a minute to ask UK supermarkets to take pesticide products off their shelves using this template.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus gave out 92 accreditations during their 2022-2023 award year! Find out which institutions are hedgehog friendly by reading our blog.
SOS-UK delivered a Biodiversity Crisis webinar in January, focusing on what is causing biodiversity loss and how we can help reverse the trend! Catch up on YouTube.
SOS-UK have promoted Zero Hour’s campaign on the Climate & Ecology Bill! To help reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, sign here.
Green Impact is an award-winning programme that helps support organisations embed sustainability within their workplace culture. Teams of colleagues are encouraged to implement a range of sustainability actions broken down into manageable themes, of which biodiversity is one of them! Through raising awareness, taking part in national campaigns, and collaborating in teams, they are taking positive action for biodiversity as part of the programme!
In 2022, 650 Green Impact actions were completed on biodiversity, supporting staff to take positive action in their workplaces.
Farming for Carbon & Nature
Did you know that there are more living organisms in a teaspoon of soil than people on Earth? And that all wildlife depends on these organisms to survive. This is why SOS-UK's project, Farming for Carbon & Nature is working with universities, colleges and students to help farms increase biodiversity on their farms from their soil to their hedges and everything in between.
10 farms have signed up for the pilot so far and 200 students will be visiting those farms between March and May to do baseline surveys of earthworms, farmland birds, hedgehogs and other mammals, hedgerows, flying insects, and wild arable plants.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus
Did you know that hedgehogs are vulnerable to extinction in Britain? This is due to habitat loss, development, roads and garden hazards. There are now thought to be fewer than one million hedgehogs left. Funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and delivered by SOS-UK, Hedgehog Friendly Campus gives awards to universities, FE colleges and primary schools that complete hedgehog-friendly actions to protect hedgehogs, enhance their habitat and educate others on how they can help. Whether your grounds are green or urban, you can help to bring hedgehogs back from the brink. You can find out more information here.
During the 2022-23 award year:
Over 3,500 trees have been planted through HFC
Nearly 1,500 bags of litter collected through HFC
Over 550 reports of hedgehogs across 36 universities, colleges and schools through HFC.
Students For Trees
Students For Trees is a student-led network supporting students across the UK to learn about, and to take action for, woods and trees, to help fight the climate and nature crises. Each year, the Students For Trees Council reaches out to student societies, community groups and HE/FE staff to encourage students and staff across the UK to improve the biodiversity of their local area or campus by applying for the Woodland Trust’s free tree packs.
Last year, 22 student groups planted over 5,000 trees, and in 2023 so far, 38 groups applied for a total of 7,285 free trees for planting in March! Students For Trees also run various events and promote woodland-themed initiatives throughout the year. You can sign up to hear more about the events and free tree packs as a Students For Trees Branch group, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter to get involved!
You can find a Guide To Tree Planting Workshop delivered last week on the SOS-UK YouTube.
Opportunities for you to get involved in!
The Wildlife Tracks and Signs webinar is coming up on the 4th May, you can register here.
How to apply for November 2023 trees:
Step 1: Fill in the short Students For Trees Tracking Form to let them know you are applying for trees – this allows them to track which educational institutions are involved in planting and provide extra support to you ahead of tree planting.
Step 2: Once you click ‘Submit’ on the tracking form you will then be directed to the main Woodland Trust’s School & Community tree application form, which you will need to fill in with all the full details of your tree planting order (e.g. landowner permission, coordinates, number and type of trees and long term aftercare plans).
Please ensure you fill in this second form after clicking submit on the tracking form to complete your order for free trees for November 2023.
Thanks for reading! Find out more about SOS-UK's programmes here.
The Hog Friendly Team