The whole thing

 “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.

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Cats

Usually we would welcome predators into the reserve; they are a sign of a healthy ecosystem. We have resident stoats and weasels, foxes and badgers and are happy to know that our ecosystem can support them. Domestic cats, like this one photographed early in the morning in the woods in Village Green, are a very different proposition.

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Plastic free park

The Friends have planted hundreds of trees in the reserve over the years but a new study has concluded that we should be planting our trees without plastic tree guards. Research has shown that there are significant carbon emissions from the manufacture of plastic guards, they are not always collected after use and, left in the environment, they break down into damaging microplastics.

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Calling all newt-counters

Last year, Prime Minister Johnson, standing behind a banner that read BUILD BUILD BUILD, condemned all our efforts to protect the biodiversity of the Lambrok corridor as newt-counting. This was just the first move in what is beginning to look like a long-term campaign to benefit developers at the cost of our rapidly deteriorating environment. The latest move, hidden in the shadows of an obscure website, proposes restricting the reach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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Six spot burnet moth

This is a six spot burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae), a dayflying nectar feeder. Regular volunteer, Clive Knight photographed it yesterday on the reserve’s plentiful, nectar-rich, tufted vetch.

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More about Invasive Species Week

Invasive non-native species are one of the top five causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Here in the UK they harm the environment, threaten some of our rarest species and cost our economy over £1.8 billion a year.

Read on to find out how you can help

Pesticides and soil biodiversity

 A meta-analysis of nearly 400 research studies has shown that pesticides are damaging the soil’s vitally important ecosystems. Researchers have warned that we must be more careful about considering the organisms that live in  the soil when we assess the environmental impact of pesticides. A UN report published in December 2020 found that, without urgent action to halt degradation, the future of our soils looks bleak: it takes thousands of years for new soils to form.

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Double flowers

If you are planting your flower beds and hanging baskets this weekend, keep our dwindling population of pollinators in mind and please don’t plant double flowers.

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COULD FOOD FORESTS BE THE FUTURE FOR ORCHARDS?  

You will know that the Park has an orchard that was planted a few years ago.  Some of you might have helped to plant it.  It was created as a Community Garden and to maintain expertise we keep in contact with the Orchard Project, a national organisation for such orchard managers.  This article is from their latest newsletter, which I feel will interest many park users. 

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