What a fantastic opportunity to ignite an interest in British wildlife conservation for First Cranleigh Guides! I was asked to attend this evening's meeting with some of Britain's endangered and declining wildlife species to talk about the importance of their conservation.
The goal here was to help them work towards a badge by inspiring conservation action and social/ethical contribution by eventually running their own fundraiser for a charity related to wildlife conservation. I was asked to put forward charities for this, so gave three options that tied in heavily with the species I took with me. These were Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) which are the leading charity for the conservation of British native herpetofauna and their habitats, Hawk Conservancy Trust to go towards their research programme into Eurasian kestrel decline in the UK, and the Surrey Wildlife Trust that helps to protect and preserve the various habitats throughout Surrey.
The girls had the opportunity to handle Britain's rarest native reptile, the smooth snake, and we looked at other British native reptiles all of which are protected and sadly in decline. They also had the chance to handle a common toad and we discussed how they too are unfortunately in decline. We finished it off by looking at our two birds of prey, both of which are Amber Listed due to conservation concern.