Wood-meadow creation project hailed as “exemplary”


A SPECIAL summer evening was held at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow, between Escrick and Riccall in North Yorkshire, to allow sponsors and supporters to see the meadow in full bloom.

The community’s woodland and meadow was created by Ros Forbes Adam, of Skipwith Hall, near Selby.

The keynote speaker was Professor David Hill, President of Plantlife, who warned that the loss of biodiversity over the past 60 years in the UK has been “simply catastrophic”. We really need to do something about it ”.

He said the Three Hagges Wood meadow might be small in the scheme of things, but it was vitally important to show what can be achieved with tenacity, will and passion. “This is an exemplary project that can show how to intensify landscape restoration,” he said.

“Effective conservation will only be achieved when projects like this are implemented throughout the campaign. It is absolutely crucial to add value to the assets of natural capital. The loss of biodiversity, caused in large part by agriculture and development, affects us personally, depriving us of the sheer pleasure of nature.

Professor Hill said restoration was needed on a large scale if past losses were to be corrected.

“I therefore propose ‘The Restoration Economy’ – post-Brexit funding to improve the environmental performance of agriculture, including a tax incentive whereby investors would receive tax relief when they invest in restoration programs. the biodiversity.

“They received it for planting vast expanses of noxious evergreens in the highlands, so why couldn’t they receive it for positive action to protect natural resources?”

“The future needs massive participation in catering programs, funded by both public and private sectors to create markets, just as we create markets for food. ”

Ms Forbes Adam said the loss of wildlife was man-made but could be reversed by man.

“By establishing a wooded meadow in every parish in the UK, we can make a significant contribution to recovering the losses of the last century,” she said.

“Six years ago, we chose the Wooded Prairie Model in an attempt to transform a ‘conventional’ 25-acre barley field into one of the most diverse ecosystems in the temperate northern world.

“We recorded the methodology we used and will share it with other conservation organizations. Our ultimate goal as a charity is to see a wooded meadow in every parish, so that nature and wildlife are accessible to everyone at their doorstep, for education, health and well-being.

In May 2013, the site had been sown with two mixtures of lowland grasses (wet and dry). In December, 10,000 native trees and shrubs of 28 species were planted in the prairie, in 12 coppice groves with standard landscaping.

Botanical, entomological, bird and professional mammal surveys have been organized every year.

Ms Forbes Adams said: “From a ‘blank canvas of biodiversity’, in three years we now have over 100 species of meadow flowers and grasses, each of which is host to insects. pollinators and others. This was achieved by enhancing the prairie with native prairie flowers collected, sown and planted by our volunteers, as well as species that came of their own.

“We have reached a remarkable number of pollinators: more than 20 species of butterflies, 50 of moths, the nine common species of bumblebees, as well as 70 other species of lesser-known pollinator species, including solitary bees and hoverflies, as well as dragonflies. and damselflies at the pond, and many of them are breeding populations. 900 insect species have been identified there by entomologist Andrew Grayson.

The meadow is home to barn owls, kestrels, buzzards and herons, and in summer, swallows are plentiful.

Visit threehaggeswoodmeadow.org.uk/resources for more details.


Chris B. Hall

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