The Importance of Biodiversity

Several of the posts in this week’s newsletter relate to our county’s wildlife: how we can experience and enjoy it and how we can help and protect it. HWT are organising winter walks and children’s activities at Queenswood. One of our members is planting a new wood and is seeking volunteers to help get the trees in the ground. In February, Transition Leominster are holding seed swaps in both Hereford and Leominster where you can exchange seeds and plants, adding to the variety of species in your garden or allotment. Measures such as these are vital in our nature-depleted country: a study by the Natural History Museum in 2021 found that that UK is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries, with on average about half its biodiversity left, far below the global average of 75%.

Taking place in Montreal this week, though getting much less news coverage than COP27, is the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international meeting bringing together governments from around the world to discuss what can be done to halt the attack on nature. Alongside Climate Change, Biodiversity is the greatest challenge facing the world at the moment. The two are interlinked – without tackling the one issue, humans cannot tackle the other. Hugh Warwick, ecologist, author and hedgehog champion, summed up the importance of protecting biodiversity with this metaphor:

“One way to look at it is to think of the Forth railway bridge – at 2.5km long it is an engineering marvel. It also has 6.5 million rivets. How many of those would you be happy to lose and still use the bridge? How many species do you think the planet can lose and for it still to function?”

That bridge needs every one of those rivets.


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