Wilder Iden was set up in January 2021, with the aim of making more space
for nature in and around the village.
The project aims to increase engagement with local nature, to offer
information on how to improve opportunities for nature to thrive on your own
land, (be it a patch of garden or multiple hectares) and to get the community
physically/practically involved with volunteering work, such as planting,
clearing and species recording.
For more information or to join the mailing list, through which we send out
information on forthcoming projects and events as well as seasonal and
topical news and advice, email Sam Pyrah at firstname.lastname@example.org or
call 01797 280 545. You can also find us on Instagram at @wilder_iden
Here are some of the things we’ve done so far:
Participated in Citizen Science projects including Plantlife’s NoMowMay, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count.
We've had three roadside areas officially designated by East Sussex County Council as ‘wild verges’, which means they are only mowed after the growing season, providing better habitat for pollinators. It's been shown that not mowing verges before autumn increases insect life 4-fold, increasing pollination and providing food for many species (Plantlife). We planted snowdrops and sowed wildflower seed of local provenance on these areas.
We’ve had a multi-story swift box made and installed on the old village hall, and nest boxes made for barn owls.
We've 'freed' a field of saplings from plastic tree tubes as well as clearing the weeds surrounding them and mulching.
We've logged 9 species of bat in Iden, thanks to the loan of a sonic bat detector from Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.
We have had visits/advice from the High Weald AONB and Sussex Wildlife Trust.
We held a winter solstice walk in December 2021, complete with bonfire, mulled wine and mince pies!
What could YOU do to help nature?
In your own back yard…
A whopping 520,000 hectares (well over 1 million acres) of land in the UK is made up of our front and back gardens - a huge opportunity for actions for actions to support native flora and fauna. Often, it's a matter of doing less, not more. For example, mowing your lawn less often, leaving fallen leaves, digging the soil less, trimming hedges less frequently…
On your land…
There are many privately owned fields and woods, along with extensive orchards and farmland in Iden. How can landowners help to make their land more nature-friendly and support more biodiversity? We are currently working with Christopher Strangeways from Bosney Farm on rewilding a 1.5-hectare field. There are many grants opening up to landowners for nature restoration, as well as some helpful organisations and resources; we may be able to point you in the right direction.
In our public spaces…
We are lucky to have the fantastic recreation ground in Iden, including the wooded area on the southern edge. We also have the churchyard and a good few miles of lane verges and hedgerows. We would like to work with the Parish Council (and any other relevant parties) to make these areas more nature-friendly over the coming years and welcome your ideas and input.
Who we are:
Wilder Iden was set up by Sam and Jeff Pyrah. We’ve lived in Iden for 11 years. Neither of us are ecologists or naturalists by trade – just nature lovers with a desire to do what we can to stem the tragic loss of nature in the UK. Forty per cent of Britain’s flora and fauna have declined since the 1970s, with a quarter of mammals facing extinction (State of Nature report 2019). There is no ‘membership’ to Wilder Iden as such, but we have a good group of locals who take part in Citizen Science projects and practical work.
If you're interested in hearing more, sharing your ideas or getting involved in any way, please email email@example.com or call 01797 280 545. Rest assured you don’t have to be willing to participate in demanding physical work to be involved! You can also find us on Instagram at @wilder_iden