Review of CRT 25th Silver Jubilee Lecture November 2018, RGS, London
Happy Birthday to the Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT) as it enters it’s 25th year! The Royal Geographical Society hosted the CRT in the prestigious Ondaatje Theatre. The Theatre is a comfortable venue from which to listen to speakers from around the UK sharing their knowledge about striving towards a living, working countryside and welcoming wildlife to good farming practise.
There was a star-studded cast as we heard from Emma Bridgewater, the President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and homeware designer gave a passionate speech about using brownfield sites first when it comes to looking for places to expand development. Pam Ayres, Poet and countrywoman gave us a trip down memory lane when she created a small-holding for her young children and all the animals she met along the way. She kept bees, planted thousands of trees and was a refuge for released hedgehogs back in to the wild on her 20 acres, an inspiration for her poetry.
However, the most intriguing talk was about a new system establishing a standard for benchmarking and acknowledging ecological excellence with a new product from Redlist Revival, a charitable organisation established to restore disappearing species of Birds of Conservation Concern. The idea being that general information is brought down to a Community level and allows farms to measure their local performance against a national standard. Not only does this mean that really useful data is collected but farmers are recognised for their contribution to protecting and enhancing Life on Land as per the United Nations SDGs.
Many people are doing great things without knowing it. The Life Map allows people to measure & celebrate their contribution to wildlife within local Communities and to the fulfilment of our international commitments. The CRT have been a great support during the trial phase and we are delighted that Tim Scott, one of the CRT tenants, has received a Life on Land Award for densities of Grey Partridges exceeding the national benchmark
Edward Darling, Creator of the Life Map
Is this a performance indicator that can show a new system rewarding farmers for the public goods? Certainly food for thought.
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