By encouraging habitats and microhabitats along the River Sgitheach and by tipping the balance away from what is mainly agricultural land to a more balanced ecosystem, we hope to capture carbon, improve biodiversity and become more resilient.
‘No-one will protect what they don’t care about; and no-one will care about what they have never experienced.’
Sir David Attenborough
Ponds are important hotspots for biodiversity. Collectively, they support more species, and more scarce species, than any other freshwater habitat. Overall they contribute more to regional biodiversity than rivers or other habitats. On top of this, ponds are relatively small and easy to manage environments, so that we can improve or restore a great number of ponds.
Declines in the health and population of pollinators pose what could be a significant threat to the integrity of biodiversity, to global food webs, and to human health. At least 80% of our world's crop species require pollination to set seed. An estimated one out of every three bites of food comes to us through the work of animal pollinators. The quality of pollinator service has declined over time and this had led to concerns that pollination will be less resistant to extinction in the future.
By creating pools and depositing sediment log jams provide important fish habitat and spawning grounds. Seedlings and further vegetation grow on the log jam, indicating that trees are engineering their habitat and the flow of the river.
Scotland's forests cover 18% of land surface – but support a high share of our biodiversity. They absorb substantial amounts of carbon, helping to mitigate climate change and are home to a range of species including 172 that are protected. Over 1,000 species have been recorded in Scottish forests.
The more different microhabitats there are available within a woodland, the greater biodiversity will be. rotting wood offers different microclimates, food opportunities, architectural structure, camouflage and sheltering opportunities. These allow a great range of organisms to live side by side.
Birds occupy many levels of trophic webs, from mid-level consumers to top predators. Birds help maintain sustainable population levels of their prey and predator species and, after death, provide food for scavengers and decomposers. Many birds are important in plant reproduction through their services as pollinators or seed dispersers.