Web of Life

Understanding the relationship between nature and how land is used is at the heart of what I do in conservation management planning.  Today I was back at historic Dinefwr learning how an ancient deer park…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

with ancient trees planted 500 years ago…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

that is grazed by the descendants of those first fallow deer…

Fallow deer herd  Photo: Mike Alexander
Fallow deer herd Photo: Mike Alexander

with a good helping of clean, warm, wet, Welsh air, can provide perfect conditions for lichen communities that can take hundreds of years to become established, and only if conditions are just right…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

Once the relationships are understood, making the appropriate management decisions is relatively easy.  These rare lichens need light, open conditions on old parkland trees that grow without competition from neighbours or smothering from ivy and scrub.  Grazing livestock create these conditions, and a deer park created in the 1700’s is the perfect place to find them.

And lots of other wildlife also benefits, from beautiful woodpeckers, red kites, treecreepers, to tiny beetles living in the dead wood and even tinier yellow meadow ants who make their anthills in the ancient grassland…

Photo: Mike Alexander
Photo: Mike Alexander

27 thoughts on “Web of Life”

  1. What a workplace – like the set of Lord of the Rings! It must really be great to spend so much time outside “naturally” as part of your daily routine.

    I have just read some books on sleep research and chronobiology and learned how much our internal clocks have become delayed and turned as into more owlish later chronotypes due to our office-bound and stare-at-computers-late-at-night lifestyle.

    1. Thanks Elke, it is great to be able to go out into places like that and think about how they should be managed. I like the way we have developed a system that listens to and observes nature so that we can adapt our management to fit what is really going on. It’s a much more humble approach to management. And after all that thinking I don’t have any trouble getting to sleep at night! 😉

  2. It is so interesting told and very beautiful captured. When I see nature shown as in the last picture, it’s like time stands still. Thanks for sharing Mike and Mike 🙂
    All the best,

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