Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How building supplies can benefit wildlife

98% of our species rich meadows have disappeared, pollinating insects are fewer and further between and UK biodiversity is in decline so how come I'm bigging up building supplies instead of blaming them for burying our wildlife underneath roads, retail parks, houses and car parks?
Well yes, I do think that builders and even landscapers could be a bit, no a lot, more sympathetic to nature...include green roofs, natural lawns, hedges and SUDS in their developments. But yesterday I saw probably the most wildlife I've seen in a long while, all crammed into an area that was once a gravel pit supplying Suffolk with aggregates.

I took a ride out to Lackford Lakes near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, it's currently run by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, it's free to visit and it's home to vast numbers of dragonflies and wild flowers.  It's not easy to see wild creatures when you're accompanied by a boisterous seven year old boy with a voice like a foghorn but at least the wildflowers weren't able to take flight when they heard him approaching.

We spotted several different species and Justin loved running from plant to plant checking for snails (what IS it with small boys and snails?) and the caterpillars of cinnabar moths that were munching their way through the ragwort population.

So this once barren site that was ravaged by the aggregate industry has been returned to Mother nature and she's loving it.  I wonder, if it had never been turned into a gravel pit, would this still be an intensively farmed field with minimal interest for wildlife.  So maybe, just for once, the building industry has done Nature a favour.

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