“It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars.” David Attenborough
Our park doesn’t have snow leopards or white rhinos. Our rarities are small and fragile: water voles, pondweeds, dragonflies zipping past so suddenly they make you jump, a visiting marsh tit, a linnet singing in the trees, little bottom-feeding fish. Then there are the hundreds of flowering plants, thousands of invertebrates and probably tens of thousands of species of fungi hidden away where we can’t see them.
Let’s just call it, in David Attenborough’s words, The Whole Thing.
Part our problem is that we don’t understand how The Whole Thing works and the more we learn about it the more we understand how much more there is to learn. We are always several paces behind; we find out what is killing a species just in time to see the last one die.
Here are some pictures of the park’s small things, the underestimated things, things whose function and purpose in The Whole Thing we don’t yet understand, things we really need to look after.
First published January 2019