On World Wildlife Day, people around the world seek to repair their relationship with local wildlife and ecosystems and consider how we can better care for and manage local wildlife habitats. To find out more about World Wildlife Day, click here.
Wildlife is one of Little Seed Group’s most central personal causes, as we seek to support local wildlife both through charitable work and by working with clients who share our values.
Our Founder Ellen explains why supporting local wildlife is so important to her, both personally and in the running of Little Seed Group.
Where did your passion for wildlife come from?
Though I’ve always cared about local wildlife, my passion really began when I became involved in caring for animals myself.
I was driving home from work one afternoon and noticed a hedgehog racing down the street. As I pulled onto my drive, I turned around and watched this little hedgehog run down the street. I was aware from a previous job that hedgehogs should not be out during the day.
The hedgehog then suddenly fell flat in the middle of the road. I wandered over to it and noticed it had burns all down its chest and that its eyes were cloudy.
I took the hedgehog to a rescue and was sad to discover that it had been poisoned, probably with de-icer as it had been a few cold days, and sadly it passed away. This encounter inspired me to learn more about how I could help hedgehogs.
How has Little Seed Group supported wildlife conservation in the past?
I choose to work with businesses that also want to make a difference for existing and future wildlife. There have been times when I’ve asked clients if they can implement certain wildlife-friendly measures within their projects before I will agree to work with them. Ethics will always come before profit for me. I need to know that I’m supporting businesses that are doing their bit to nurture wildlife.
In 2019, we raised funds for a hedgehog incubator for a rescue in West Yorkshire, by conducting charitable digital audits over a ten-hour period. It felt great to be able to provide such an important piece of equipment, knowing that it would save dozens of vulnerable hedgehogs.
I personally foster hedgehogs in my free time, as well. It’s such a joy to see my hedgehog guests return to the wild when they’re fit and healthy. When I first began fostering, there were only four people in my area doing it. Now, there are around 30. I’d like to think this is at least a little bit down to my influence!
Why is it important now more than ever that businesses support wildlife?
I think we are all becoming more aware of the impact environmental issues are having on wildlife. Cities are getting bigger, and agriculture is also taking up more land, so many British species are losing their habitats. We’ve lost flower meadows, hedgerows, and trees, which are all so important for bees and other wild animals.
As cities get bigger, more wild animals are vulnerable to human error, for example being run over, or injured by garden equipment. More people are putting down artificial grass or stone chippings, which is causing insect numbers to drop. This means that many wild animals, hedgehogs included, are struggling to find food.
With wildlife becoming more vulnerable due to these issues and more, it’s so important that we all do our bit to help them out. Businesses are no exception to this. We all have a responsibility to muck in and make a difference, or the next generation may not get to see many of the wild species that we’ve taken for granted.
Businesses have more power and influence than individuals. This means we have a lot of responsibility, which we need to use wisely.
How can businesses support wildlife conservation this World Wildlife Day, and all year round?
Businesses should put aside time for volunteering and fundraising and consider supporting wildlife conservation charities in this way. Often, businesses have unique products or services that they can use to raise a significant amount of money. Take my digital audits, for example. It may not seem like an obvious thing to use for fundraising, but that’s exactly why it worked so well.
If your business premises has green spaces, ensure these are wildlife friendly. While I’m no expert on other types of wildlife, you can make your green spaces hedgehog friendly by creating hedgehog highways in fences, and by creating feeding stations. Also, avoid using slug pellets or other poisons as these can be fatal to hedgehogs.
If your business is struggling to maintain its green spaces, consider creating a wildflower garden. They’re incredibly low maintenance and great for species of all kinds.
Businesses should also ensure their manufacturing and production aren’t harming wildlife and their habitats in any way. For example, any toxic chemicals should be disposed of safely and businesses should avoid building on important habitats. I’d recommend that businesses work with an environmental consultant to improve their standards, if possible.