David Attenborough’s latest TV series Wild Isles is delightful, astonishing, and harrowing in equal measure. His incredible insights into the natural world are inspiring. But, as he points out, the UK is one of the nature-depleted places on Earth.
Helen Browning, the chief executive of the Soil Association, can be speaking on the SMALL IS THE FUTURE event going down on Saturday, 17 June 2023. Speakers include Dr Ann Pettifor, Charlie Hertzog Young, Gareth Dale Professor Herbert Girardet. Tickets for the web event are on sale at £3 now!
He reveals shocking statistics. Over the past 50 years, 38 million birds have vanished from our skies, 97 per cent of our wildflower meadows have been lost, and 1 / 4 of all our mammals are actually vulnerable to extinction.
Historic habitat loss attributable to intensive agriculture has caused bird numbers to greatly reduce, nature’s champion points out within the Grasslands episode. In brief, Britain’s wildlife is in trouble.
However the damage just isn’t irreversible, because the eagerly anticipated Save our Wild Isles documentary, now available on BBC iPlayer highlighted. There may be a way of farming that doesn’t depend on destructive pesticides and as a substitute focuses on creating homes for predatory insects that eat crop pests.
There may be a way of farming that uses plants to fertilise soils and refuses to make use of the chemical products that pollute our land and waters. That is farming organically.
With nature in crisis and 50 per cent more wildlife on average on organic farms, it’s a severe injustice to people, farmers, and nature that organic is seen as area of interest, exclusive or radical.
For greater than 50 years, organic farmers have been pioneering practices that look after nature above and below the bottom. Harmful chemicals are banned, contributing to there being a 3rd more species overall on their farms, on average, including 50 per cent more pollinators and 20 percent more bird species.
It’s a travesty that only around three percent of British farmland is organic. But there’s hope – change is within the air. There may be a groundswell of nature-friendly farming within the UK farming scene.
While fully certified organic farms remain a minority, the principles and methods of farming that underpin the organic movement are beginning to get recognition as a significant solution for restoring nature.
Organic pioneers and the surge in regenerative and agroecological farming have shown it’s entirely possible for farming to create space for nature. and that wildlife is crucial for producing good food.
Those behind the Saving Our Wild Isles documentary and campaign indicate that nature is our life support. We cannot live without it. Farming in harmony with wildlife doesn’t must appear to be a luxury – it should and is usually a priority.