Hampshire campaigners are urging nature lovers to use this mobile app to record the wildlife they see
VILLAGERS have launched a campaign to save local wildlife habitats and the endangered creatures living within them.
Residents in Westbourne, near Emsworth, are calling on nature lovers to look out for wildlife and log their sightings online.
The focus of the campaign is an area of countryside linking the South Downs National Park and the coastline – dubbed a ‘wildlife corridor’ – which includes most of Westbourne.
Its launch comes as Chichester District Council proposes to give the area special recognition to enable animals to use it to thrive and migrate.
Through the drive, which has been called Westbourne Wildlife Watch, environmental group Greening Westbourne hopes to collate evidence to bolster the idea.
Group secretary Martin Yallop said: ‘Wildlife all over the UK is threatened by development, intensive farming, pollution and climate change. We’re trying to do our bit locally to make a difference.
‘We’re asking people to keep an eye out for animals when they’re out walking or in their gardens. If they spot something, they can use the iRecord website or app to log the sighting.
‘It’s quick and easy, and if people struggle to identify what they’ve seen, there’s a lot of help and information in books and online.’
He added: ‘It’s important to report sightings because if there’s evidence that an area is home to important species, it has a better chance of being protected.
‘Endangered creatures are the most crucial to report, but people can also log more common ones, as they’re under threat too.
‘It’s a sad fact that many species that used to be common, like starlings and house sparrows, are now declining.’
To start recording their findings, residents can download the iRecord app on both Apple and Android devices.
More information on the Westbourne Wildlife Watch – and how to identify animals – is available at tinyurl.com/yyaszg7y