BIODIVERSITY GROUP JUNE UPDATE

Volunteers needed! To monitor swifts especially nesting sites. Let us know if you see a swift go into or out of a space in a roof or a nest box. The time is now as the chicks emerge they will be feeding them. Other aspects of our work Water monitoring results from the town area … Read more

Bio-diversity update

Are you doing your bit for nature?

The 2016 ‘State of Nature Report’ discovered that the UK has lost significantly more biodiversity over the long term than the world average. It’s an ‘INSECT ARMAGEDDON’. A Rocha UK, the charity that runs the Eco Church scheme, publish a monthly e-newsletter. Below is a shortened version by Klaus Huber of an article they published in early March. You can read the full version here
We all have a love-hate relationship with our six legged friends. Some bite, others sting and some look downright scary. Yet without insects, the planet would slowly die. Insects are critical for pollination; they also provide food for birds, which in turn are the main prey for many mammals – remove insects and you lose one of the key building-blocks of biodiversity.
If we are to rescue the UK’s insects, we are going to have to act incredibly quickly.

Soil can be amazing!

In 2015 the journal Nature reported the first discovery for 30 years of a new kind of antibiotic: teixobactin which is able to kill mycobacterium tubercuosis, clostridium difficiles and staphylococcus aureus.

The World’s soils contain 1,500 billion tonnes of carbon as organic matter. The good news is that increasing the quantity of carbon contained in the soils by just 0.4% per year would halt the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. This could be done by restoring and improving degraded agricultural land. Organic farmers are leading on this. The great concerns of the world: climate change, natural resources, water control, food production, conservation and human health all rely on the condition of our soil.

Owl Nest Boxes

Some members of the Bio-diversity Group meet up once a month and have a workshop making nest boxes, mainly for owls. These are then installed where the birds are known to fly. Here are the ones they put up in late February

Roadside Verges & Biodiversity within Bradford-on-Avon and surrounding villages

Wiltshire Council has a statutory duty to consider biodiversity conservation in all its activities. Only 2% of wildflower meadows which existed nationally in 1930’s now remain! Roadside verge management can increase the wildflower areas. The main way to do this is to reduce the number of cuts to once a year between mid July and the end of September with the removal of the cuttings in areas where grass does not need to be kept short for sightline management for road safety.

Trees

My grandson bought a crab apple tree with his Christmas money – just imagine how long this will last him! It will sequester carbon, help with soil drainage attract pollinators and provide food, as well as being a beautiful living thing to admire.

Sir William Worsley is the government’s first ever ‘tree champion’. His main task is to ensure that 12 million trees are planted in England during this Parliament.

Organics

For a difference in flavour try organic, its all down to the soil they are grown in or on. Carrots are especially good. Organic producers and those based on similar principles in BOA: Avonleigh, Hartley Farm, Woolley Grange.

Two years to make a deal for nature

UN’s biodiversity chief warns that if we don’t we could be the first species to document our own extinction.

Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Director of the UN convention on Biological Diversity says pressure needs to be put on governments to set ambitious global targets by 2020 to protect …