It strikes me that I don’t post very much about my home patch. There’s lots that we can all do to help our planet, it’s flora & fauna. Whilst photographing, educating & evangelising is great, it is also important to ‘do our bit’; so what have we been doing, chez AnnMarie?
We have about 50 acres of land in the heart of Dyfi forest, it comprises permanent pasture, river bank & deciduous woodland. We are bounded by river, forestry & SSSI. Our general goals are to maintain and if possible increase biodiversity. Here are some of the actions that we have taken so far:
- Reduce artificial chemical use to a bare minimum
- Plant new hedgerow
- Plant new trees
- Restore old hedgerow
- Graze pasture in a manner that encourages flower seeding & protects sward
- Leave areas of rough pasture over winter for insect cover
- Designate a specific area ‘flood plain’ & manage to encourage plant diversity
- Keep livestock out of woods to encourage young saplings & woodland floor plants
- Maintain quiet backwater for amphibians to breed in
- Leave some fallen timber for invertebrate & fungal habitat
- Establish several bird feeding stations
- Fence off sections of river bank to allow re-establishment of bank cover for riverside mammals
- Encourage & feed wild mammals, as practical
- Develop garden with wildlife friendly plants & technique, see RSPB website and Wildlife Gardener.
The general thinking is to work in harmony with nature, not against it. The region is particularly rich in fungi and we also have a good selection of lichens. Some of the lichens are quite rare & are very sensitive to pollution, so great care is taken not to endanger them.
Not only can one help wildlife in this way but there are also lots of personal gains to be enjoyed, for example:
- Its a fantastic place to bring up our daughter
- The dawn chorus is wonderful
- You’re never alone with all the wildlife around
- We probably get fitter & healthier doing all this
- Why not beautify your surroundings with plants & wildlife
- It helps broaden our understanding of nature
- Its just good fun
There’s more that we can & hope to do, but it all takes time & resources; it also pays to go steady & learn the lessons as you go. Here are some of the things still on our wish list:
- Provide additional nesting places for a variety of birds & insects
- Plant / restore more trees & hedgerow
- Increase availability of water / bog habitat
- Provide further butterfly habitat
I hope that this has given you an idea of what I might be doing when not behind the camera or computer. Perhaps its even inspired you a little.