When running a farm, it’s easy to view all of the land as a resource to utilise purely for our own financial gain.
Well we grew it, we nurtured it, it’s our property therefore we’re fully entitled to use it how we wish.
But did we actually grow it? The honest answer is no.
In fact it was a plethora of other species, millions of them above and below ground along with the sun, the moon, the stars and the rain that enabled those plants to grow.
In all honesty we did very little. In fact the main thing we did was leave well alone, walk away and not disturb. It’s hardly an active role.
Framed as such you begin to see past our socially driven anthropocentric mindset and realise we have no more ownership over the pasture than any other species that wishes to reside within its roots and stems.
One of the many skylarks we have at Village Farm
One example of where we have stepped aside for other species requirements is within the story of the skylark.
Throughout the year the background soundtrack to Village Farm is the winged song of the lark.
They are in healthy abundance across large areas of the farm.
In numbers so plentiful that come early spring we commonly observe the merlin –Britain’s smallest and now very rare falcon- in spiralling vertical pursuit of these crested minstrels.
A skylarks nest we happened upon last week
But when it comes to the health of skylark numbers nationally the same cannot be said. Sadly, this lyrical songster has become the standard bearer for farmland bird decline. In my lifetime their numbers have plummeted, dropping by over 50%.
Its obvious as to why we need to step back and make way for the larks to safely nest.
To us, affording the survival of a species completely outweighs in importance the extracting of every last penny’s worth of monetary value from the land.
Purposely moving our flock along the side of a field so not to disturb the nesting larks.
But by making this gesture what is our reward?
Maybe a more important question would be to ask why does everything we do need rewarding?
But if rewards are to be given, perhaps it’s in knowing ‘it’s the right thing to do’ and being reminded of that fact every time we walk through that pasture to be greeted by air so dense with song.
Larks aerobatically competing over territories above the pasture.