Forest fairies are cute, but crafts can be harmful to nature

Faeries, gnomes and other enchantments to forests are cute but can ultimately be quite harmful. Photo via Essex Region Conservation Authority Facebook

Take nothing, leave nothing – even if it’s cute.

The pandemic has led many Canadians to explore nature around their homes and some have taken to adding decorative elements, often in the form of fairy or gnome-like playthings. While cute, and certainly a joy to see when out for a walk, the trend is concerning to some tasked with maintaining the health of the ecosystems where these villages appear.

Essex Region Conservation Authority posted to Facebook, asking visitors to not bring items into the area, go off trail, or attempt to install items.

In conversation with The Fur-Bearers, the ERCA noted, “Placing foreign objects in our [conservation areas] is harmful in a few ways. It can actively damage the plants that the items are affixed to; folks can damage or trample areas while trying to install them; it can be unsafe for any visitor to leave our clearly marked trails; and often times, the paint and/or materials used on the items that people leave behind are toxic or harmful to the plants and animals in the [conservation areas].”

Wanting to add some wonder to the world right now is an exceptional kindness; unfortunately, sometimes the means become a problem. Another option could be posting notes for visitors at park entrances on message boards, creating a new, fantastic theme for a community book station, or adding native plants near your home so butterflies, bees, and other fairy-like pollinators can visit you.

The Fur-Bearers would love to see how you’ve created environmentally- and wildlife-friendly decorations in your yard and community! Tag us on Facebook, or Instagram or Twitter (@furbearers) and we may feature your posts in upcoming blogs or share with our network.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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