Thursday, 20 December 2007

Corridors of Conservation

The number of birds feeding and bathing in the garden is increasing, but that's probably because I've only just got the "Feeding station" up and running properly since my return from down under. Most of the birds on the feeders are Greenfinches, while underneath most are Chaffinches. The grass is so long I can only just see the tops of the birds on the "lawn".
I saw or heard of an article somewhere about using Google Earth to evaluate conservation projects. One of the things to you can use if for is to see what the layout of the land used to look like. In many areas where there are now large fields it is easy to see the layout of smaller fields as the old hedges leave a definite outline on new larger ones.
Looking a Google Earth you can see that this gentleman would not just have been on a footpath, in years gone by, but in the middle of a hedge.

Conservationists talk a lot about hedges and their loss and there is good reason. They have various functions for wild life. As well as providing habitat for birds and small mammals to nest in, they also provide a network of roadways for this animals to move along. in some areas it is the lake of hedges which prevents the spread of colonies of butterflies. They are also used as song posts for many birds. Some of these nest on the ground but, without the essential place to sing from, the habitat is no longer suitable.

Even where there are hedgerows or bits of them, such as this row near Martin, they are often fragmented now so they no longer serve as the corridors for wildlife they once did.

While I'm on about conservation, the news was full of the fact the the JAPANESE are going to resume hunting of the wonderful Hump-backed Whale. (I've borrowed the picture below because all of mine are slides and it was quicker than scanning one in.) Everyone should make some sort of protest against this cruel and unnecessary practice. They claim it is for scientific research, but that is a cover up for commercial hunting. They intend to take 50 Hump-backs as well as 50 Fin Whales and many more (935) Minke Whales. You can register your protest by going to this WEB site WDCS.
This photo is by " Naked Faris" I borrowed it from Flickr.


Steve of Kingsdown said...

Re hedges, I've often wondered about the row of trees off the straight mile, and indeed other old field lines around Ripple and Sutton. If we get any snow, that helps to show up old lines.

Re whales, as an erstwhile Greenpeace marcher I was appalled when I heard this news, but it seems that the Japanese may have bowed to international pressure now.
My wife recalls manning a stall in the eighties and an old codger came up and said 'Whales, I wouldn't go there if you paid me'

Anonymous said...

The Japs have called off the hunt for now... evil people.

Tony Morris said...

Cunning ploy. Make the objectors feel they've won a victory but still carry on with the killing of the 50 Fin Whales and 935 Minke Whales. Minkes are portrayed as the small ones, but when you're in a zodiac and along side one they are still magnificent animals.