What’s lockdown like for West Country wildlife?

Sparrow sits on a telegraph wire. Credit: ITV News

Creatures like deer have been spotted venturing into village centres like Boscastle.

Birdsong can be heard as our aeroplanes are grounded and people staying at home means fewer animals like hedgehogs and badgers are being killed on our roads.

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It must be a strange world for them, I am quite certain they’ve noticed that there’s been a big change in our behaviour and routines and patterns they may have got used to. All of a sudden that’s changed and I’m sure there’s some pretty confused animals out there but I’m pretty sure they’ll make the most of it if they can.

Gillian Burke, Wildlife Presenter
Deer venturing out onto the streets of Boscastle. Credit: The Cobweb Inn

I think wildlife and nature will definitely have made some gains out of this - less cars on the road in breeding season for say hedgehogs that are really frequently hit by cars and badgers - all that sort of thing.

Louise Treneman, Avon Wildlife Trust
Hedgehog spotted in a Bristol garden. Credit: Sophie Clark

The pandemic has also meant more people have had a chance to observe nature and spot wildlife, including basking sharks off the Cornish coast.

Whether it’s less boats or more plankton than usual - basking sharks have been spotted off Mount’s Bay. Credit: Atlantic Adventures

Almost seven weeks into lockdown a reduction in man-made noise has meant birdsong can clearly be heard.

The lack of road noise and aeroplane noise has made a huge difference to the amount of birdsong I can hear.

Louise Treneman, Avon Wildlife Trust
Blackbird sits on a branch. Credit: Wild Worlds: Doorstep Discoveries

Whilst our human footprint is currently lighter on our landscape some creatures may well be benefitting but whether or not any long-lasting gains will be made remains to be seen.

It is a unique spring and let’s hope it’s never repeated again.

Gillian Burke, Wildlife presenter
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