Marya Parker from BTCV opening the 2011 conference
“Natural Neighbours” is Norfolk’s community biodiversity conference. It was first organised in 2009 by BTCV, on behalf of the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership. The feedback from this inaugural event was so positive that a second conference was subsequently held in 2011, again with the help of BTCV.
Natural Neighbours is dedicated to celebrating, promoting and assisting the biodiversity conservation activities of local community groups. It addresses commonly encountered challenges and issues, such as: How can volunteers be attracted and retained? How can funding for conservation projects be secured? Where can the technical know-how required for environmental projects be found?
Although each Natural Neighbours event is different, the conference is always interactive and designed around the interests and priorities of community groups. Typical features include:
• Case studies from local groups, highlighting their achievements and the lessons learned along the way.
• Technical workshops on habitats, species and conservation management including pond creation, woodland planting, river restoration and wildlife surveying and recording.
• Presentations by local experts on topical issues such as invasive non-native species, new funding opportunities and environmental accreditation schemes.
• An information market, featuring displays and exhibits from local groups, funding bodies, statutory agencies and others.
In light of the positive feedback received on the first two events, Natural Neighbours looks set to run again another year, helping people in the heart of communities - both urban and rural - to implement successful conservation projects.
If you would like to learn more about Natural Neighbours, the reports of the previous conferences can be downloaded here:
Natural Neighbours 2011, Conference Report
Natural Neighbours 2009, Conference Report