Britain is dangerously close to losing many of its critical wildlife species.
What I have to say is important. It’s not simply of consequence to animal lovers and countryside activists – it will have an impact on each and every one of us living in Britain today and in the future.
And so I would like to call on the British public to lead the call for Britain’s food businesses to play their crucial part in reversing this situation.
A dramatic decline in our biodiversity threatens all our futures by upsetting the natural balance of things, through the loss of incredibly intricate food webs that serve to pollinate our food and keep our air and water clean.
It isn’t simply about cuddly conservationists wanting to keep the countryside pretty with birds and flowers and insects. It’s about tackling the sustainability of our food production head on.
This week, food companies in the Conservation Grade partnership have joined forces to warn of the need to avert a ‘Twelve days of Christmas’ crisis.
The crisis is so called because if we don’t take action today, our children’s children might never get to see a real partridge or turtle dove. Pear trees might never bear fruit unless we pollinate them artificially.
As a society, it’s increasingly vital we take action to protect the natural world both for its own intrinsic value and also for the very real benefits it brings to us humans, essential for our wellbeing and prosperity.
The Conservation Grade partnership believes the food industry has it in its power to turn this potential crisis around by encouraging the planting of special habitats alongside commercial crops, which has been proven to boost wildlife populations*.
Now, as co-founder of the Conservation Grade farming system you might think me slightly biased in agreeing with this.
But I truly believe that by restoring the right mix of wildlife on our farmland, by growing food and habitats for wildlife species alongside our commercial food crops, we can create a sustainable agricultural system that can continue to feed the people of Britain for generations without losing any of our wild insects, birds, animal or plants.
This is my plea to British consumers. Please call for more food brands to support the Conservation Grade farming system. Vote with your feet, or rather your wallet and shopping basket. Look out for the Conservation Grade ‘Fair to Nature’ bumblebee logo and choose products accredited to aid the survival of our threatened wildlife species. If you can’t find Fair to Nature products on shelves, ask for them to be stocked. If your favourite brands aren’t ‘Fair to Nature’, ask them why not via email, Twitter or Facebook.
If you, the consumer, make noise about this, it will aid our work in trying to persuade food companies to take this seriously and to move to Conservation Grade methods.
So, when you’re singing along to the Twelve Days of Christmas this year with your friends and family around you, spare a thought for Britain’s wildlife and make supporting Fair to Nature one of your New Year’s resolutions.
Please share this post and help us get support.
* In trials, where Conservation Grade farms have turned 10 per cent of land over to specific wildlife habitats, this has resulted in up to 40 per cent more birds, 18 times more butterflies; 30 times more small mammals such as water voles, and 40 times more bumblebees within these habitats. More information here.