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Hilary's Story

Get Thinking

Hilary’s keen observations and passion for nature highlight important themes that often get overlooked in discussions around climate change – biodiversity and ecosystems.

 

Bude looks very different now to 200 years ago, when it was a salt marsh bustling with biodiversity. This is a very common story all over the globe, with 77% of the world’s land having been claimed from wilderness, predominantly for farming and industry. Our need to feed a growing population has led to exploitative practices that have degraded our land and significantly damaged many ecosystems.

 

Did you know? Two-fifths of all plant and fungi species are on the brink of extinction

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Inspired

We have put together some tips on what we as individuals and collectively as a community can do to have the greatest positive impact. These changes will not only improve the quality of life for everyone in our area, but also reduce contributions to worsening climate change.

  • Storms
    As temperatures increase, the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere increases and is released as extreme rain, hail and snowfall. Storms passing over warmer water absorb more energy, increasing wind intensity. In Bude this means an increased risk of storm surges and flooding. Numerous waterways in and around Bude put many of us in river catchments and we therefore need to think seriously about how we can adapt to flood risks. Floods damage not only our homes and livelihoods, but also impact on water safety. Our outdated drainage systems cannot cope with additional water flows, which leads to sewage being discharged into rivers, making its way onto our beaches at Crooklets and Summerleaze.
  • Heat Waves
    In the UK we now experience twice as many warm spells a year, as in the 1990s. In 2020, 2,556 heat-related deaths were recorded, a figure predicted to increase threefold by 2050. What may feel to some like a beautiful summer’s day can put others under extreme stress. People with underlying health conditions or over 65, as well as young children and those on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to heat stress as they are less able to adapt to the heat. But as temperatures continue to rise we are starting to see fit and healthy people being affected too.
  • Extreme Cold
    Weather systems are highly complex, so although it seems strange, climate change also increases the risk of extremely cold weather events, as we saw in March 2018 with the ‘Beast from the East’, which brought icy temperatures and snow even to Cornwall.
  • Droughts and Wildfires
    As the climate changes, we’ll experience more rain falling but less frequently, which means more flash floods and more periods of drought. This combination of factors leaves us susceptible to drought and therefore wildfires, as land and vegetation dry out. Already we’re seeing changes – in 2020, Cornwall Fire and Rescue attended 80% more wildfires than the previous year.
  • Water Shortages
    By 2050 water demand will outstrip supply as the population continues to grow and water availability reduces, according to predictions by the UK Committee on Climate Change. In the UK we use an average of 143 litres per day per person and water conservation is essential for reducing drought and wildfire risk.

Get Sharing

Stories trigger more stories,

so we hope this has sparked some of your own memories and

provided an opportunity to reflect. 

Have you ever seen any unusual or rare species around Bude?

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Is there a small natural area around you that you protect or would like to protect if you were able? What actions do you or would you take?

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Have you noticed any changes to how we experience the seasons or to wildlife behaviour over the years?

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If you have a garden, do you do anything to encourage wildlife and nature to thrive?

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Have you ever been aware of the impact of climate change on the natural world? How did this make you feel?

Get Together

If you’re part of a local group and would like to explore this theme more through additional activities, then you might like to use our ‘Hands On’ toolkits. Contact Us to find out more.

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Teachers wanting to use these stories in the classroom can download additional resources here.

Dive Deeper

If you would like to understand more about what our ecosystems do for us, this United Nations site offers a good overview.

If you want to know more about our local area, and what needs to be done, Cornwall Wildlife Trust has an in-depth assessment called ‘The State of Nature Cornwall 2020 Report’.

If rewilding captures your imagination, and you would like to know more, please visit Rewilding Britain Page.

Hilary's Story

Hilary's Story

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Hilary's Story

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Hilary's Story

Hilary's Story

Get Involved

Bude is bursting at the seams with enthusiastic environmental groups and great initiatives if you want to get involved. Here’s a few relevant to the theme of Hilary’s story. 

Bude Marine Group

Interested in marine life in the Bude area? Bude Marine Group can help you understand the marine environment and the influences on it, so that we can protect and enhance it for the benefit of all

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Thank You

We hope our suggestions and advice leave you feeling inspired. Climate change can be challenging to think and talk about, so if any of your questions haven’t been answered or you need support or you have an idea you want to pursue, then please get in touch with the Bude Climate Partnership. We’re here to help you.

This Toolkit has been developed by Storylines.

Storylines is a Community Interest Company who use the common language of story to bring people together to share, celebrate, learn and connect.  Storylines supports organisations and communities to unearth and share their own stories through bespoke story projectsdigital storytellingeducation, oral historyworkshopsinterpretation

training and consultancy.

Share your memories and reflections here

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