Who Owns Nature? – The Property Chronicle
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Who Owns Nature? Joy in the diversity of life and a humane pride of ownership

The Farmer

On the Pevensey Levels we have recently formed a Cluster Group, formed of 50 farmers seeking to improve their management and understanding of wildlife. The mantra of “more, bigger, better and joined” comes from the 2010 environmental white paper chaired by Professor Lawton, and is the catch-phrase of landscape scale conservation. Our second open meeting was held earlier this July, with a pond dipping session led by local naturalist Evan Jones. Where better to begin an understanding of landscape, the visual composite of compound detail, than in the silt of our ditch network. An early reward for the 20 farmers present was the capture of two very large beetles. One was the Great silver diving beetle and the other a close relative called the Black bellied diving beetle. The difference should logically be the blackness of the belly, but typically proved not to be as simple as all that. The Black-bellied has yellow on the side of its thorax and elytra, but not at the rear. Our attention was only recaptured when Evan took out a tea-spoon and caused one of the prehistoric looking larva to squeak. Now that was worth coming for!

The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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