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Extra info for BBC Wildlife (May 2016)
As long as artificial fertilisers – which are pretty much lethal to wildflower meadows – aren’t applied, soil fertility and grass growth will remain low. With the grass under control, all sorts of plants can become established in the sward. More than 180 species can be found growing in typical neutral lowland meadows in Britain. Several plant families dominate; the daisy family is especially Limestone grassland sites in the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty support more than 25 species of butterfly and 100 species of grasses and wildflowers.
For these species, the surrounding hedgerows and veteran trees – the threads that stitch the patchwork of meadows together on a farm – are key. Only when they too are in good health do meadows sustain their maximum diversity of wildlife. CREATION AND DESTRUCTION A recruitment poster from 1941. The Land Girls did vital work during World War II, but policies on farming exacted a heavy toll on the country’s wildlife. more delicate wildflowers. Where once 150 plant species could be found, there are now usually fewer than 10.
OUR GIBBONS “You first hear a baby hoolock gibbon sing with its family when it is four or five years old. When it is seven years old it sets off on its own to find a mate, and will live up to 40 years. If their mate dies, they don’t mingle again. Hoolock gibbons only have one partner in life, and usually no more than two or three young. That’s why I like them. ” Devon Buron Forest guard, Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary 40 BBC Wildlife May 2016 HOOLOCK GIBBON W hen Kumud Ghosh wakes in his village amid the tea plantations of Assam he’s greeted by a spine-tingling sound somewhere between the hoot of an owl and the howl of a wolf.