Landscapes, environments and habitats are always changing. Changes result from natural and increasingly from man-made influences. Man-made changes are occurring at unprecedented speeds. Consequently when habitats change wildlife may or may not succeed in adapting quickly enough. Small spaces often contain fewer species, that is, less bio-diversity, and populations may also be small. Their capacity to survive and change in a timely manner is particularly at risk.
Small spaces with public access and imposed management programmes are doubly pressured.
Land use may fragment the landscape with the result that small spaces become physically isolated and lose connectivity with other spaces. Migration between small spaces can become compromised or impossible. Food chains are disrupted by species loss. One lost species will impact on the viability of other species
Through this website and associated blog I will explore these aspects of small space ecology.
The cast of players
That's me. A scientist majoring in chemistry. Worked most of my career in environmental protection. A lifetime of keen interest in wildlife, especially birds, trees, and wild flowers. More recently my interests have expanded to include insects especially pollinators. With others I have observed, identified and recorded wildlife on The Park for ten years. Examples of the number of species recorded are, 54 bird, 17 mammal, 87 insect and spider, 104 wildflowers and grasses and 35 tree and shrub species.
The case study
The Park consists of some ten hectares. It was arable land in 1800, by 2000 it consisted of small paddocks, some meadow, scrub, orchards and isolated clusters of trees. Local people had a history of accessing parts of the site. It was in 14 separate ownerships. These were gradually acquired by a developer. Between 2007 and 2010 a low density development was built with planning conditions requiring a patchwork of open spaces that maintained the character of the area and providing for continued public access.
The wider story
Through the blog I will share my thoughts about the habitats and ecology of The Park. The importance and vulnerabilities of The Park (my case study) will lead me to wider arguments in support of many other small spaces. Examples of the wider range of small spaces of interest are, domestic gardens including wild corners, public footpaths, field margins, garden ponds, hedgerows, road verges, hollow trees, single large trees, public parks, ditches, orchards, churchyards, cemeteries and many more.