Rob Harrison, Principal Ecologist, on the importance of getting involved with World Wetlands Day next month.

This weekend will see us mark a crucial day in the ecological calendar: World Wetlands Day takes place on Sunday February 2nd,  raising awareness for this vital ecosystem.

The global awareness day aims to heighten appreciation of wetlands and the ecosystem services they provide, which include acting as a habitat for rare and protected species: water birds, otter, water vole and countless fish and plant species all rely on the wetlands for their homes.

With 40 per cent of all species living or breeding in the wetlands, and additional functions such as carbon storage, which combats climate change – peatlands cover 3 per cent of land but hold an impressive 30 per cent of land-based Carbon; which is twice the amount of all the world’s forests combined, flood prevention – inland wetlands such as flood plains, rivers, lakes and swamps behave like sponges, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flood surges, and drought relief, whereby during dry spells wetlands release stored water to delay the onset of droughts and minimise water shortages, and it begins to become clear just why these areas need our attention and support to help them thrive.

In short, wetland biodiversity matters, and we’re keen to do everything we can to support it.

As such, we’re encouraging everyone to mark World Wetlands Day by getting out and about to experience the wetlands close by and say hi to the residents… we’ll share pictures of the wildlife we meet, and there are heaps of ideas to inspire you to get involved on the official website.

The Ecology team includes specialists in aquatic ecology and wetlands, offering aquatic ecology services for conservation and development projects in and around wetland sites.

 For more information, contact the team on 0121 455 9455.

*All figures quoted courtesy of World Wetlands Day.