Episode 83 – Community Nature Reserve

Community Nature Reserve

The neighbors responsible for Felixstowe’s Community Nature Reserve.

Dr. Adrian Cooper is on a mission to spread a new idea which could help to save local wildlife: the community nature reserve.

The term “community nature reserve” may bring up visions of national parks and there are certain similarities. Both community nature reserves and national parks are created to help support and protect wildlife. Both are also supported and frequented by nature lovers.

But unlike national or government-run nature conservation projects, community nature reserves are actually created by neighbors planting wildlife-friendly plants in their own backyards.

Alarmed and Frustrated

Like so many of us, Adrian, a wildlife friend, scholar and speaker on the topic, became alarmed by the rapid decline in wildlife populations he was seeing. When he saw that politicians were ignoring the issue, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

He connected with like-minded neighbors, and together they hatched a plan. Each neighbor would plant wildlife-friendly plants in their own yards and together they would work toward creating a local nature reserve that, added up, would equal the size of a soccer field.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Neighbors plant wildlife-friendly plants in their backyards and create a soccer field size local nature reserve” quote=”Neighbors plant wildlife-friendly plants in their backyards and create a soccer field size local nature reserve” theme=”style3″]

Dr. Adrian has seen a lot of enthusiasm for his idea, as you will learn in this interview.  His neighborhood in Felixstowe England has embraced it wholeheartedly.

And as an important fringe benefit: the community has come together. Neighbors have come to know one another, and they continue to work on projects that will benefit all involved.

A Symbiotic Relationship

Community Nature ReserveJust about all of us know the soul-rejuvenating effects of visiting a park or nature reserve.  Not so long ago, we didn’t have to travel miles to experience and interact with nature.

But, the advent of the industrial age brought with it in increase in city-living. And even suburb developers rarely gave a thought to preserving and protecting local wildlife.

The studies that show how beneficial spending just a little time in nature can be, are numerous.  So why not create a space that helps both humans and wildlife by encouraging their interaction in your own yard?

Here and Now

I was truly inspired by Adrian and I’ve become convinced that his idea is powerful. In fact, The Sustainable Living Podcast will be featuring Adrian’s tips for creating your own community nature reserve on future episodes of the podcast. Be sure to listen to the very end of this episode to hear Adrian’s first tip.

If you are as disturbed as I am about the alarming decline in wildlife around the world, you may wish to share this idea with your own neighbors.  It’s nice to know there is something we all can do for wildlife here and now.

For more information about starting a community nature reserve, you may want to check out this article written by Adrian.
For lots of hints and tips about individual wildlife friendly plants, you can have a look at Felixstowe’s Community Nature Reserve Facebook Group.


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11 comments on “A Community Nature Reserve

  1. Dawn Holden Mar 13, 2017

    I love this discussion about community nature reserves! It’s full of enthusiasm, but also clear, practical advice on how each of us can start a community nature reserve for ourselves in our own neighborhoods. This is such an important idea, it needs to be championed and promoted in every way. I really think community nature reserves are going to be fundamentally important to our society and culture, and to the world inherited by our children and grandchildren. Thank you so much to Sustainable Living Podcast for bringing us such important ideas!

    • Marianne West Mar 14, 2017

      Thank you so much! Yes, let’s all work together and create nature reserves in every community!

    • Jenise Fryatt Mar 15, 2017

      Glad you enjoyed it Dawn! Will you be doing anything to help the wildlife in your area? Please keep in touch!

      • Dawn Holden Mar 16, 2017

        Jenise, I have already started talking to my friends about starting a new community nature reserve. I’m also sharing the link to your podcast with my friends. I want to be a part of this new movement of planting new community nature reserves all over the world.

        • Jenise Fryatt Mar 20, 2017


          That is WONDERFUL! Please keep us posted on your progress. If you have pictures to share, we’d love to see them! You can contact me at jenise@sustainablelivingpodcast.com – You can also join the dialog on such topics in our “Sustainable Living Tips, Tools and Tactics” group on Facebook. Take care!

  2. Cal Mateer Mar 16, 2017

    This idea of Community Nature Reserves is so perfect for helping to solve the problems of community, conservation, youth involvement, education, and breaking down barriers between nations and backgrounds. I get it! Everyone can be involved immediately. I’m really excited to know about this work. I will try and start a community nature reserve here in the Netherlands..

    • Dawn Holden Mar 17, 2017

      Hi Cal,
      I posted here too!
      Together, we’re part of a growing movement of community nature reserves!
      Good luck with your own community nature reserve!

    • Jenise Fryatt Mar 20, 2017

      So happy to hear you are doing this in the Netherlands, Cal. Please keep us posted!

  3. Lukasz Rojewski Mar 17, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this excellent podcast about the community nature reserve vision. I liked the passion of the interview, I wish you all good luck with this excellent work. I will share the link to this podcast with my friends in Poland.

    • Jenise Fryatt Mar 20, 2017


      I’m very happy that you enjoyed the interview. If you have any ideas for future interviews or topics you’d like us to take on, please let us know. You can email me at jenise@sustainablelivingpodcast.com . We’d love to hear about sustainable living efforts in Poland!

  4. Dawn Holden May 3, 2017

    I keep returning to this page. The interview is so practical and helpful.