Mountfitchet Garden Club

News: November 2022

Our changing Wildlife: The Influence of the Climate Crisis

After a 31 year career with Natural England, the Government’s advisor on nature conservation, our Speaker, Dr Chris Gibson took early retirement and calling himself “an enthusiastic all-round naturalist” began giving talks, walks and seminars on conservation, ecology and natural history.


Using slides members were show how the climate has, and still is, affecting both flora and fauna. Birds and plants once only found in warmer climes are now commonplace, moving from the continent to the south and east coast and then spreading across the country. An example given was the collared dove, a rare visitor in the 1960’s is now considered a garden bird.


However, the climate is changing too, it is getting warmer and there are more extremes of weather. Therefore the food chain is also altering and breeding times of indigenous birds are not coinciding with the insect glut, so whole nests of babies are dying of starvation. The flooding of salt marshes and the extension of reservoirs was discussed.

East Anglia, instead of being a stop-off destination in the bird migration south, is becoming the preferred winter home of northern birds who are mingling with summer visitors who have decided to stay put. Man has been responsible for the eradication of some species but in recent years animals and birds have been reintroduced to the countryside to help bring a balance. “Every little thing you do, helps” were our Speaker’s closing words.

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