Communities who Live and Work with Nature
The Perdix principle is to enrich nature to enrich us. This is especially important for the livelihoods of farmers and others who depend on income from the land. It is important too for those whose health and recreation depends on nature, be it for watching, walking, horse-riding and training dogs (the observers), or for those flying falcons or shooting partridges (the hunters). Members of our team are part of all your communities.
As the UK loses payments under the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, many farmers will struggle to maintain their incomes. However, there is scope for landowners to replace some payments from the EU for maintaining services from nature with private payments for recreation from those who enjoy nature. That payment could be direct, for those who wish to trial dogs or bag a partridge, or indirect from farm-stay guests who wish to enjoy wild-flowers and insects and perhaps merely glimpse a partridge. We’ll also be liaising with our team members in Germany to get more details on biogas from wild-flowers.
Have you heard the saying that “What Pays, Stays”? Governments have liked the idea of protecting areas for nature, and giving access rights to citizens. It gets votes at low cost, but it doesn’t restore and enrich nature. That needs actions by people who get their hands dirty. Farmers may volunteer some effort, especially those who enjoy wildlife, love the land and tend to be community-minded. But they need to live as well, and life is tough for small farmers. People have got used to nature being “free” or subsidised. So what can you contribute to nature? Help with recording and restoring flowers and insects? Help with noting observations of partridge pairs?
Maybe merely by appreciating the work others are doing, and understanding why it may only be worthwhile for them if they manage the predators. After all, wildlife is a resource that renews for everyone provided the ecosystems remain healthy for it. Even if you only eat plants, please remember that growing those plants is depriving animals of food and shelter. In the UK, human pressures mean that wildlife everywhere needs helpful management, and imported food may be putting pressure on wildlife abroad. The overwhelming threat to wildlife worldwide is cultivation.
Your shooting or falconry probably costs you plenty already, and you could well be providing motivation for maintaining nature on land where you hunt. You may even be contributing to restoration work, as many hunters do. Perhaps you are already involved with Green Shoots or at least a member of BASC or GWCT.
However, are you sure that you are doing enough for your local landowners to reward them for any income they forgo to preserve your interests and nature in general? Are your hunting colleagues doing so too, and your local club? Are you taking some time to explain to your friends and family how your passion and your efforts make nature better for everyone?
You can already join groups for the Partridge Biodiversity Action Plan in the UK. Links to other UK local projects will be listed on this page.