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Nature Recovery Launched

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Nature Recovery in Harleston was officially launched on Saturday 11 March in St John's Church.

There was a wonderful mobile of butterflies hanging from the ceiling with a beautiful swan sailing into the chancel. The butterflies were enthusiastically coloured by children from Archbishop Sancroft Primary Phase. Personal messages of how the children believe we can help protect nature were on display along the sides of the church.

Ian Carstairs OBE, conservationist and the driving force behind the project, opened proceedings and acted as the Master of Ceremonies.


Rev Nigel Tuffnell, who has a background in ecological management explained his lifelong passion for the natural world and the urgent need to reverse the losses, welcomed everyone to the event.


Councillor Trevor Graham, Chairman of Redenhall with Harleston Town Council, explained that 'Nature Recovery in Harleston' was born from a demand by the people of the town in the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan. It is driven directly by those with a passion for the environment.

Roger Walsh from the Kartong Bird Observatory in Gambia showed us how their birds are our birds. Migratory birds travel thousands of miles from Africa to the Harleston area. Our swifts spend some of the year in Africa, our environments are connected through the natural world. Nature does not recognise international borders, never mind district or parish borders.

Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation highlighted how we are damaging the world around us. The natural world is finely balanced, with every part having a role to play. We learned that the indigenous leaf cutter bee is a better pollinator than the more popular overseas addition of the honey bee, and even the common house fly plays a part.


Edward explained some imaginative ways to help our environment. Green roofs, swift bricks for houses, providing natural food for birds, the capture and use of rainwater, redesigning water fountains to eliminate the requirement for harmful chemicals, planting within the urban environment to encourage insects.

The official launch came at the end of the presentations when Cllr Trevor Graham and everyone in the audience released origami butterflies into the air with a cry of 'We can' to symbolise the community building back nature together.

Nature Recovery in Harleston are eager to continue our journey together and encourage other people to join us along the way. Together, We Can ...

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