A different view on green spaces
By Earth Trust
Have you ever reached the top of a hill and felt like you were on top of the world? Looking out across fields, woodlands, rivers or houses; the views can be incredible. On the Clumps you might even draw level with red kites soaring over the lower parts of the hills – it can give us an insight into what they might see every day as they glide across the landscape.
But, looking deeper there are so many more perspectives, each with their own part to play in the ecosystem. How many different and unusual views can you see as you spend time in green spaces? And, what can we all do to look after them?
At a glance, the face of the Clumps might look a little bare, with only grass and cattle to admire. But in fact, there is plenty more to see here. As the cattle graze they leave ‘tussocks’ – patches of longer grass. For small rodents like mice, voles, and shrews (which are sources of food for many birds of prey), this is ideal habitat. Looking even closer, you’d see some of the seeds and insects they eat. In fact, the Clumps are cared for in a way that makes them biodiversity-rich while supporting a working farm (find out more here).
As the sun sets and night falls, you might encounter different species. While red kites return to roost, owls and bats emerge along tree lines. You might even hear one of the nation’s favourite mammals, the hedgehog, snuffling along in the undergrowth looking for food.
Of course, views change through the seasons in a year, too. In the summer we talked about looking at the world through the eyes of a pollinator, and using areas of wildflowers in arable crops to support them. Zooming through the grasses and flowers as they sway in the wind must be a very different experience to the one humans have in meadows.
And, as autumn now approaches, woodlands will be supporting species looking for shelter through the colder winter months. Hedgehogs will be starting to look for piles of leaves and twigs, while woodland birds take cover in hollowed-out trees. Perhaps strangest of all to imagine is the view seen by newts as they start to emerge from our woodland ponds and look for log piles to hibernate in.
It’s well documented that people can feel better after experiencing more diverse green spaces – but how often do we stop and think about what’s really around us and what can really be seen? The best ‘view points’ might in fact, not be the first we think about.
What’s the most unusual view you’ve found in a green space? And what inspires you to look after it? Let us know in the comments below or on social media using #LoveItLookAfterIt