Most people understood that wildlife populations in Felixstowe were falling, and they wanted to help, but they simply didn't know how.
It also became clear that getting hold of a single plot of land for any kind of nature reserve project in the Felixstowe area would take too long, and would be too complicated.
I therefore decided to make participation in this initiative as simple as possible. First, I redefined what a nature reserve could be. Instead of it being one area of land, I suggested to local people that each of them only had to allocate three square yards of their gardens and/or allotments for wildlife-friendly plants, ponds and insect lodges.
I then proposed an aim for 1,666 people to take part. That combination would give us a total area of 5,000 square yards – the area of a football pitch, an image that everyone could imagine.
Creating a new nature reserve
By the end of October 2015, I was certain that enough local people understood what I was trying to do. So I started a Facebook page with my partner Dawn Holden to advise local people about wildlife-friendly plants. Three times each week, a new plant was advised to our rapidly growing readership. That plant list comprised: rowan, barberry, firethorn, foxgloves, thyme, sunflowers, lavender, honeysuckle, ice plant, buddleia, evening primrose and purple loosestrife. In other words, something for everyone!