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22 May, 2020

Call for nature lockdown stories on Biodiversity Day

Call for nature lockdown stories on Biodiversity Day: Roe deer have been more visible  © Catriona Reid/SNH

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is calling on people to share their memorable stories and images of nature during lockdown.

In these unprecedented and difficult times, many people have reported finding solace in the natural world and being more interested in, and appreciative of, nature as our lives have slowed down with less travelling and more people walking and cycling daily.

In our quieter cities, towns and countryside there have been reports of unusual wildlife sightings – from a fox exploring Waverley station in Edinburgh to a deer perusing the shops in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.

To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), SNH wants to hear people’s personal experiences of nature in lockdown, whether that is spotting something new you’ve never noticed before, unusual wildlife, changes to nature locally or finding a deeper connection with the natural world.

Gathering a people’s record of nature during lockdown will complement longer-term scientific research into our growing understanding of the state of nature and the forces influencing it. 

The nature agency is also keen to encourage and support people to develop their interest, learn more and get involved in citizen science.

Staff have produced an online guide to the many nature surveys and activities that people can get involved in from their home, garden or out on a local walk.

Especially now when much professional field work is restricted, citizen science is key in helping to expand our scientific knowledge.

Professor Des Thompson, SNH’s Principal Adviser on Science and Biodiversity, said: “The true impact of Coronavirus restrictions on nature will of course take some time to establish, and there are likely to be both positive and negative impacts.

“The overwhelming positive is that so many people seem to be noticing and connecting much more with nature, and we’d love to hear any unusual or interesting nature moments that the public have experienced during the lockdown.

“Over the past few weeks we have certainly been seeing animals which are sensitive to disturbance returning to areas they formerly occupied, as well as being more active in the daytime.

“We’ve heard stories of coastal waders benefiting from quieter beaches, roe deer moving closer to populated areas, mammals such as pine martens and badgers becoming more active during daytime and foxes and other urban wildlife moving about more in cities.

 “We urge everyone who can to take the next step and get involved in recording and monitoring nature. Citizen science is not only an enjoyable way to make space for nature in your day, but is also crucial to help us understand and improve the state of Scotland’s nature for the future.”

People can submit their stories and images to BIODIVERSITY@nature.scot. Please include a full name and location.

A full list of citizen science activities that can be enjoyed during lockdown can be found here: https://www.nature.scot/scotlands-biodiversity/biodiversity-what-can-you-do/citizen-science-biodiversity

ENDS

For more information, contact the SNH press office on snhmedia@nature.scot or 0131 316 2655.

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SNH Media
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SNHMEDIA@nature.scot

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig www.nature.scot/gaelic no lean air Twitter sinn aig https://twitter.com/nature_scot

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Roe deer have been more visible  © Catriona Reid/SNH

Roe deer have been more visible © Catriona Reid/SNH

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Wader flock on quieter beach ©Catriona Reid/SNH

Wader flock on quieter beach ©Catriona Reid/SNH

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Ringed plover enjoying the quieter beach at Forvie NNR © Catriona Reid/SNH

Ringed plover enjoying the quieter beach at Forvie NNR © Catriona Reid/SNH

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Citizen science ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Citizen science ©Lorne Gill/SNH

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