WET AND WILD(LIFE)

Rob Harrison, Principal Ecologist, on an important ecological event…

We’re just a couple of weeks away from a pretty important day in the environmental calendar. World Wetlands Day takes place on Saturday February 2nd February, raising awareness for this vital ecosystem.

The global awareness day aims to heighten appreciation of wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide, which include acting as a habitat for rare and protected species: water birds, otter, water vole and countless fish and plant species all rely on the wetalnds for their homes.

Why you should get to grips with your local wetlands…

Add to that functions such as carbon storage, which combats climate change – peatlands cover 3 per cent of land but hold an impressive 30 per cent of land-based Carbon; which is twice the amount of all the world’s forests combined, flood prevention – inland wetlands such as flood plains, rivers, lakes and swamps behave like sponges, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flood surges, and drought relief, whereby during dry spells wetlands release stored water to delay the onset of droughts and minimise water shortages, and it begins to become clear just why these areas need our attention and support to help them thrive.

Kingfisher fishing
Pic: iStock/mauribo
Snipe at the edge of the swamp.
Pic: iStock/drakuliren
Could they be any cuter? Extra points if you capture otters kissing.

Pic: iStock/michael_price
Could they be any cuter? Extra points if you capture otters kissing.
Pic: iStock/michael_price

Our Ecology colleagues are big fans of the wetlands and the recreation opportunities they offer: a leisurely walk along a river or a day connecting with nature at an RSPB reserve is a great way to get fresh air, exercise and appreciate just how much the great outdoors has to offer.

So we’re encouraging everyone to mark World Wetlands Day by getting out and about to experience the wetlands close by and say hi to the residents… our Ecology team will be sharing their adventures and the wildlife they meet, and the awareness day’s website has a host of ideas to inspire.

Harris Lamb’s Ecology team includes specialists in aquatic ecology and wetland, offering aquatic ecology services for conservation and development projects in and around wetland sites.

 For more information, contact the team on 0121 455 9455.

*All figures quoted courtesy of World Wetlands Day.