Peat is, without a doubt, great for growing plants in. So why should we not use peat in our gardens? Well, peat bogs are home for a wide range of plants, insects and bird life. Since 1999 the development of commercial alternatives to peat has increased. The media has also made efforts to help spread […]
Quick practical conservation tips
A collection of articles designed to help you get started with practical conservation in no time at all.
Why manage dunes?
Sand dune systems occur on the coast throughout the UK and Ireland. They support a diverse range of flora and fauna. Although inherently unstable to start with, once vegetation is established they are often protected from change by low-intensity grazing of cattle, sheep and rabbits. Changes can occur naturally, for example in violent storms, but […]
Gardening for bees
We often consider gardening something that we do for ourselves. And this is great. Gardening for bees (and us) is one way we can give something back to a group of creatures we depend on. Bees are well known for their honey, but there’s more to these wonderfully diverse insects than providing Winnie the Pooh […]
Why improve access?
The network of around 130,000 miles of public rights of way in the UK, is one of the country’s greatest recreational resources. A 1993 survey showed that of 320 million ‘visits’ to the countryside, 120 million visits involved a walk of some sort. Despite the demand for greater access to the countryside and open spaces, […]
Why fell trees?
Tree felling is a positive management technique which increases the health and diversity of trees and their associated wildlife within woods. It should be carried out as part of a management plan based on scientific research of the effects caused, and should be appropriate to the species concerned. Felling trees in the name of conservation […]
Why clear scrub?
Chalk grassland, lowland heaths, peat bogs, dune slacks, moorland and wetland margins need managing to retain their particular characteristics. This often means cutting back and removing young bushes and saplings – known as scrub clearance. Encroaching scrub should be controlled when it will eventually destroy a much rarer habitat through shading and changing soil conditions. […]
To conserve: Protect (something, especially something of environmental or cultural importance) from harm or destruction. (Oxford English Dictionary) Habitats are in a constant state of change through naturally occurring dynamics and human influence. But while natural change can be managed by the earth’s ecosystems, that which is imposed by humans often has devastating or irreversible effects […]
Basic Safety in Conservation Work
Practical conservation work should be carried out as safely as possible. Being aware of various safety points not only reduces the risk of accidents or illness but also enables groups to work more effectively – increasing everybody’s enjoyment and satisfaction. Safe work is good work! This page is only intended to be a guide for […]
Coppicing – why cut down trees for conservation?
Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management that has shaped many of the remaining semi-natural woodlands in the UK. Periodic cutting actually prolongs the life of the tree as well as creating a rich mosaic of habitats, attracting a wide range of flora and fauna. Woods that have not been coppiced tend to be […]
Why plant trees?
In recent decades there have been a number of important stimuli for tree planting, including the loss of hedgerow elms to disease, the millennium and, perhaps most dramatically, the estimated 15 million trees uprooted during the storm of 16 October 1987. Native tree species blend in most effectively into the rural landscape. However, the most […]