In the earth we trust
Earth Trust is an environmental learning charity in Oxfordshire. They protect and manage green spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife and provide high quality learning opportunities for schools, special needs groups and the general public.
The green spaces include a 500 hectare farm in South Oxfordshire and five community reserves that are sustainably managed in nearby towns. The farm includes arable, grassland, forestry and a research woodland.
Bees, butterflies, moths and other pollinators are a vital part of our ecosystems. They are hard at work ensuring that 75% of the food crops we plant, produce the fruit we want and that the many animal-pollinated plants, vital to healthy ecosystems and the landscape we all love, can survive.
Recently populations of wild pollinators have crashed. The causes of this decline are varied and inter-related but not fully understood; however, there is no doubt that we all need to act now to halt and reverse this potential disaster for our world for now and generations to come.
We need to provide food and habitat for pollinators, reduce pesticides which threaten their survival and get the message out to everyone ( all of us !) who can make a difference and undertake research to learn how and why the pollinators are disappearing and act upon it.
On the land that Earth Trust cares for, their management techniques ensure that bees, birds, butterflies and other wild pollinators can find plenty of food, nesting and overwintering sites, and good shelter enabling them to travel safely to forage.
They achieve this on the farmland by: planting a variety of crops, maintaining wide wildflower field margins, using grazing cattle and sheep to manage the meadows, and minimising the use of pesticides on their crops.
Hedgerows and margins are created and maintained on the land for the pollinators making sure there are wildflowers to provide the pollen and nectar they need for food, The trees, shrubs and hedgerows of the Earth Trust’s arboretum are a haven for wildlife with rare birds and the pollinators in residence, clearly evidencing the area is in good natural health and thriving as a result of the careful nurturing of the eco-system.
Earth Trust spend around £4,000+ every year on maintaining and extending hedgerows.”
This is vital to sustain the local wildlife, including bees, wild pollinators and farmland birds that help to sustain the delicate eco-system of planet earth.
Contraload Cares has been able to contribute this year to supporting Earth Trust’s work on hedgerows.
As a person who spends a lot of time outdoors in the country I had never really considered or understood just how fragile the eco-system of the planet really is and just how much it matters, or should matter to every single person. What really made me think was the quote below:
‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.’ Sir David Attenborough
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