Monday, 2 May 2011

Want more birds? It's time to convince the farmers.

I guess I should be grateful that at least the local farmers have left some hedgerows between their vast arable fields of cash. The hedgerows are capable of supporting plenty of these:
And every bush holds one of these at the moment:

However, in wildlife terms the fields are totally sterile. In a state of despair at the local habitat and of the patterns of land use ever changing, I looked up the commodity price of rape seed oil over the last year to see if there were any signs that pure economics may force the local farmers to  diversify:
Talk about a cash crop! There won't be any change in crop planting around Cuddesdon, unless perhaps every field is given over to rape seed oil. The trading price is significantly higher than at this time last year. The situation for wheat prices is just as bad (for wildlife, that is):
Well, that explains the two-tone colour of the countryside: there is increasingly large amounts of money to be made in wheat and rape seed oil, while livestock farming is barely making a penny. But there is a cost to these decisions. The reduction of biodiversity affects every person in the country and every wildlife system, from birds to bees, from beetles to insects... to us. Farmers do not operate in a vacuum of responsibility, that is only judged a success by the bottom line. They have a responsibility to us all and a responsibility to our countryside. If they won't change, and we have a Government that is unable or unwilling to recognise that environmental issues are the only issues that really count, then I can only see one solution. It's time to take control. It's time to convince the farmers.

1 comment: