Naturalist calls for Portishead to ‘work together to create wildlife area within town’s urban structure’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 March 2019

Chris Sperring with Orion the Tawny owl at the Wild Nailsea festival.

Chris Sperring with Orion the Tawny owl at the Wild Nailsea festival.


A renowned environmentalist from Portishead has called on people to ‘get closer to nature’ and create a ‘wildlife area within the urban structure of the town’.

Chris Sperring MBE has pleaded with people to ‘change and work together to overcome’ environmental issues at a local level.

The naturalist wants the town to come together to promote nature and wildlife within Portishead.

Among his proposals are installing a hedge line at the golf course, creating a community orchard in Avon Way and reducing the maintenance of some green areas and grass verges to allow creatures to thrive.

Speaking at Portishead Town Council’s meeting at the Folk Hall on March 13, he said: “I am a firm believer nature conservation doesn’t begin looking big.

“Actually, it’s about looking local and getting people involved in looking after their environment.

“How about 20 per cent more trees across the urban area? They provide for human beings an amazing amount of resource.

“We can create our own wildlife area within the urban structure of Portishead. It will start to make a difference for the natural environment and it is going to have a tremendous effect on us as a species as well.”

Mr Sperring’s proposals have received the backing of the town council, which has agreed to hold a public meeting and form a working party.

The authority also agreed for Portishead to become a pollinator town and a tree charter champion.

Cllr Peter Burden, who is also chairman of Portishead Horticultural Society, said: “I don’t think we can do a lot as a town council, but we can facilitate a lot.

“We should facilitate a meeting and see who is willing to come forward on this, because it is open to ideas.”

Mr Sperring added: “We have lost our attachment to nature and this is a real problem.

“The natural environment is dirty but we need dirt. We will become much weaker if we don’t get closer to nature.

“What I am hoping comes from this is people think this is a good idea.

“I don’t think anything like this can go forward if it doesn’t have everybody working together.

“We can change and work together to overcome the issue.”

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