Our resident animal expert Rhiannon has recently started a university degree course in Ecology. As part of her degree, Rhiannon is doing some independent research, so where better to do this than at Greenslate Community Farm.
Rhiannon has identified three areas on the farm which are close to the growing plots that are not suitable for growing vegetables or grazing animals. So, Rhiannon thought that these would be great for creating some new wildlife habitat. She is also going to be excavating a small pond within the woodland.
Her research centered on introducing relatively small, shallow ponds to areas of the farm which are useless for food production.
Using the introduction ponds to study the impact of providing wildlife habitats on site will not only give Rhiannon the research data she needs for her degree, but it will also benefit the farm. I am a firm believer in providing habitat for wildlife in the growing environment.
Because we grow ‘organically’ on the farm, we don’t use any pesticides. We are vulnerable to pests so we need as much help as we can get. Providing habitat for wildlife brings the pest predators into the heart of the growing area where they can ‘forage’ into the crop growing areas. Having resident populations of amphibians and insects can only be a good thing.
It will be fascinating to see the results of these studies over the next few years. Having Rhiannon measuring impacts scientifically will give us some real-life data about how organic growing and habitat construction go together.
What I think is exciting is the fact that these ponds are relatively small, so they are things that many people could do in their gardens or allotments.
I am hoping that Rhiannon will give us regular updates on her research as things progress.
Rhiannon is looking for helpers with her ponds project. So if you are handy with a spade or are intersted in wildlife, click on the button below: