No Quick Fix For Chettisham Meadow
I WRITE in reply to Martin Baker s letter entitled preserving a home for all our wildlife which was published on April 29. The Wildlife Trust has managed Chettisham Meadow since 1972. The SSSi status was awarded in 1983 and was bought by the Wildlife T
I WRITE in reply to Martin Baker's letter entitled 'preserving a home for all our wildlife' which was published on April 29.
The Wildlife Trust has managed Chettisham Meadow since 1972. The SSSi status was awarded in 1983 and was bought by the Wildlife Trust in October 2008. If the meadow is managed to benefit all wildlife and is the Wildlife Trust's primary objective for it to be a haven for wildlife, then perhaps Martin Baker would like to explain a bit more on how native british Aspens (poplar) trees on the north boundary end of the meadow can cast a shadow when the sun faces the trees all day, which would mean the shadow would be cast in the drove outside and away from the meadow? As the Wildlife Trust knew that fallen leaves causes nutrient rich soil (which stops wildflowers and orchids spreading) why weren't the leaves removed from the grassland, which would have been less drastic and also for the long-term good of the meadow? Even the gathered leaves (with a bit of imagination) could have benefited other wildlife. Even pruning the canopy out would have helped. How have the hedges been encroaching year after year, a telephone conversation I had with a Trust officer confirmed that they are cut each year. As far as I know Chettisham meadow's SSSi has never been grazed by livestock, which means the (BAP) site safeguard and management document would consider it unacceptable to graze livestock on the meadow.
In my opinion if the Trust had wanted to, it could have improved to preserve the meadow without drastic measures, they only had to put their minds to it by using regimes which may be time consuming but would have enhanced and improved the long-term good of the meadow.
When an organisation has managed and stewarded a place knowing of its high quality grassland,orchids and rich wildlife for over three decades, it shouldn't have had to resort to drastic measures. The ethics of the quick fix immediate results method at certain wrong times of the year contradicts what conservation and preservation is about.
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