Just a Field

I lent against the old fence the other day watching marbled Whites and Meadow Browns flying over the rough grass land. To my side was bramble scrub where Whitethroats and Garden warblers fed their young and like all of those who watch wildlife  felt a sense of excitement to see these wonders of an english summer. Excitement soon turned to sadness as I turn to see the metal fence round the fields where last year as saw the same species and many more disappearing under a housing development.

Old Fields, new house.
More to come

This field can show us many things if we take closer look. Situated on the edge of a large Surrey village and like many other formerly productive agricultural fields are now seen as a financial asset by the owner and potential building land. I first encountered this field 8 years ago, rough grasses , bramble patches and a few small Sallow trees already established and then we have seen the changes in the species that have occurred from the ground to the skies. the species lists collected show the incredible variety of life that these fields can support given the chance to recover from its former species poor state as an agricultural field. We have observed 24 species of butterfly including Small Copper

Brown Argus, Common Blue, 3 species of Skipper and the Marbled Whites. Amongst the grasslands we found Grass Vetchling.

Scarlet Pimpernel, Birds foot Trefoil

and clumps of beautiful Black Knapweed all feeding a mass of insects. We stood and watched Red Kites and Buzzards in the air together last year, after the presumed farmer cut the grass and made a short lived bounty of food. One winter we watched a Goldfinch feeding on a teasel head and then in a split second its life over  taken by a male Sparrowhawk.

My partner Sam and I have watched the sad decline of the wildlife in these fields after so many amazing wildlife scenes, too many to describe.

We believe all habitats are vital if we are to repair the already fragile natural habitats in this country. The current UK government have nature conservation as a low priority which is fundamentally wrong on so many accounts. They and local government need to realise that building on the Greenbelt is whats slowly killing natural biodiversity. Protect what we already have and lets try to repair some of the damage is what I believe we should be doing. Time for the politicians to actually do something constructive to protect our countryside.

For my dad Francis,

Francis Willis

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