All across the AONB, people are linked by roads and footpaths. These allow our food to reach us and mean we can visit friends and loved ones. However these very links are barriers to our wildlife.
Insects and mammals need hedgerows, trees, and flower-rich meadows to provide their safe pathways and food supply. Plants need space and protection to thrive. Birds need hedgerows and trees to nest in and roost safely and fields to forage in.
Intensive farming of both stock and arable crops can damage the health of our countryside. Neonicotinoids damage the bees which pollinate our crops and wild plants. Cutting hay too early can destroy the fledglings of ground-nesting birds such as skylarks. The cowpats of intensively reared cows are often sterile, killing any insects that seek to use them either for food, or as a nursery for their young. Organically raised cattle seem more contented and healthier and provide a good deal for nature.
The Landscape Trust’s reserves at Coldwell are run organically, making them safe for wildlife. We need to extend them and join them up with other land that is also sympathetically managed. One acre of flower-rich meadow, or bramble and scrub, or mixed woodland is better than none but a 10-acre patch is much more than 10 times more beneficial.
If we left nature to run its course all our land would revert to scrub and after a few more years to forest. The diversity that is so important for a healthy biosphere would be lost. We need to manage our reserves making sure that key species such as spiked speedwell and marsh orchids, brown hairstreak butterflies and cinnabar moths, field voles and stoats, lapwings and little egrets can thrive. We also need to make them available to all without damaging the very diversity we want to encourage. All this takes money and time.
Your donations will allow us to grow our reserves both in area, diversity and accessibility.