Bioturbation

Wikipedia defines bioturbation as the reworking of soils and sediments by animals or plants. Here is a video of a system with and without soil fauna such as earthworms, mites and isopods over a 15 week period: this is what is happening to the fallen leaves all over the reserve.

Eco-gardening

Challenges such as climate change, habitat destruction and invasive species are pushing our native ecosystems to the edge, making urban and suburban spaces into critical resources. There are 22 million private gardens in the UK, an astonishing potential that, used carefully, might just make the difference between success and failure for the Nature Recovery Networks proposed by the new Environment Bill.

Continue reading “Eco-gardening”

“Nature is our home”

At the beginning of the year the UK Treasury commissioned and published for the very first time a full assessment of the economic importance of nature. Professor Dasgupta, the Cambridge University economist who carried out the assessment, concluded that our prosperity has come at “devastating cost” to the ecosystems that support us. “Nature is our home,” he said, “good economics demands we manage it better.”

Continue reading ““Nature is our home””

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.

Continue reading “The whole thing”

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.

Continue reading “Cats”

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.

Continue reading “Calling all newt-counters”

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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. 

Continue reading

Today we are publishing the introduction and section 1 of our objection to planning application 20/00379/OUT to build 180 houses in the meadows at Southwick Court, between Trowbridge and Southwick Village. It is both a summary of the park’s biodiversity and a reminder that we need to protect our green spaces and wildlife whenever and however we can.

Continue reading

Environment Bill delayed

Three days ago, the government delayed the Environment Bill for the third time. Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said:

Time and time again the government tells us that ‘urgent action’ is needed to restore nature, that it will ‘build back greener’ and that we can’t afford to ‘dither and delay’. What then is it playing at by delaying the most important piece of environmental legislation for decades?

We don’t need to look any further than this week’s New Scientist to see the urgent need for legislation to protect our environment and the many lifeforms we share it with.

Continue reading “Environment Bill delayed”

Real or fake?

A lot of people buy artificial Christmas trees in the belief that it benefits the environment, but environmentalists and energy analysts disagree. We need only look at a single element of the hundreds of thousands of artificial trees that will be put up and decorated this Christmas: they are all made of plastic.

Continue reading “Real or fake?”

Flea circus

Part One

Research has recently found that the highly toxic insecticides used on cats and dogs to kill fleas are poisoning England’s rivers. Scientists believe that significant environmental damage is being done to important water insect populations, down at the bottom of the freshwater food chain.

Continue reading “Flea circus”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑