Back in October 2019, I decided I'd like to take part in the drawing challenge 'Inktober' A yearly challenge encouraging participants to create 31 ink drawings in the 31 days of October. I've started it a few times before, but lost momentum, or ran out of inspiration.
So this year I decided to pick a subject before it started. I'd been reading the recent 'State Of Nature' report, a report documenting how humans are affecting the decline and destruction of our biodiversity. Approximately 41% of species that we can count are declining dramatically, a number of which in the UK have been moved onto a Red List, created by the IUCN. A list of species facing endangerment. I decided to use the 31 days of Inktober to highlight 31 of the species in the UK facing mass decline (#inktoberredlist). There are many, many more in trouble.
I chose the species as I went along during the month, many influenced by my reading.
I was surprised to find some species, including the Horse Chestnut, Herring Gull and Hedgehog were under threat. We've reached a very precarious position in our country's history, where our beloved wildlife are teetering on the edge of extinction. I learnt that Starling's have declined by 87% since 1967, that cuckoo's have declined by 65% since the 80's in the UK. Species that rely on niche, special environments are most at risk as we knock down trees, build on, pave, intensify and homogenise our landscapes. Species that were widespread across the UK, red squirrel, wildcat, tansy beetle, now forced into small unconnected pockets. You can find all 31 drawings on my @raspberrythief Instagram page.
To further raise awareness of these 31 species, I've made a book from the project. Each page including the original black and white ink drawing (to represent the threat of extinction), and a watercolour version (to represent hope), and some information on the threat to each species.
As a way of creating more engagement with each species, I've created some free downloadable colouring pages to go with the book. These can be printed onto plain paper for kids, or onto watercolour paper.
31 ink drawings, 31 watercolour paintings of threatened species in the UK.