Why Ecological Literacy is More Important than Ever
From low impact living in a communal woodland to the ancient art of coppice management, we often talk about hands-on ways to live sustainably from our woodlands. But often the problem is not just how landowners and their workers treat their woodlands, but rather how they interact with the surrounding communities and their needs. Permaculture Magazine just published a heartbreaking tale by Louise Hoskins of devastating woodland management as the result of maintenance work by utilities—with lessons to be learned for us all:
An in depth meeting was held with the maintenance company, and the trees to be cut and trimmed were decided upon but this information did not reach the operatives that carried out the work. Trusting that the operatives were aware of the plans in place, they were left to work unsupervised, and when the owner of the woodlands, returned, she found what looks like a super highway cut through the reed bed, through the blackthorn thicket, through the bamboo island. Vital shrub margins along the edge of the reed bed have been decimated. The shrub margins themselves are an NVC (Natural Vegetation Classification) in their own right. A third of the ancient blackthorn thicket has been destroyed.
Inspiringly, Hoskins isn't looking to name or shame the perpetrators. Rather, she uses the example as a plea for promoting broader environmental awareness and ecological literacy among the general population. Nobody should go wondering into woodland with a chainsaw without knowing exactly what they are doing...