Wildlife volunteer army needs recognition – Iolo Williams
via BBC news
The role played by volunteers in monitoring the UK’s wildlife needs greater recognition, a leading Welsh naturalist has urged.
Broadcaster Iolo Williams said “absolutely vital” data was being gathered by a “huge army”.
But he claimed this was not always appreciated by those making key decisions on the environment.
The Welsh Government said it funded a range of important monitoring projects involving volunteers.
It comes after the recent State of Nature report, compiled by more than 70 wildlife charities, suggested there had been a 46% increase in time donated by volunteers for conservation work – including monitoring – across the UK since 2000.
Mr Williams said it was important for governments to understand that wildlife data, including numbers and distribution of species, “is more often than not gathered by people who are volunteers”.
“When you get to Welsh assembly, UK government and European level I don’t think they really appreciate that a lot of the information that is fed through to them to decide on policy has been collected by this huge army of volunteers out there – so our debt to them is a great one.”