Sustainable Hayfield Biodiversity Group 

Biodiversity is simply defined as the variety of life on earth – nature, in other words. Nature across the globe is in trouble, we are experiencing a dramatic decline in the number of species and this presents a direct threat to the sustainability of all life on earth. 

"The truth is, every one of us, no matter who we are or where we live, can and must play a part in restoring nature". Sir David Attenborough 2023 

Sustainable Hayfield Biodiversity group was formed in late 2021 as a sub-group of Sustainable Hayfield. We are a core group of likeminded individuals who have a keen interest in the biodiversity of our environment. 

We have a broad aim of identifying, maintaining and improving the biodiversity within the Hayfield area, whilst raising awareness amongst and encouraging engagement of the local community. We believe that people need to be aware of environmental issues in order to care about them and that only if people care about the environment will they protect it. 

There is an enormous amount of good work being done to help biodiversity in the UK by both individuals and organisations. Our first year was largely spent understanding our individual interests and expertise in more detail and also developing external contacts and networks. In our second year, 2023, we embarked upon a number of projects and activities:

·       We established a community tree nursery within the village, to help meet the nationally-accepted need for more trees. In our first year we have developed over 400 young trees to the point of being ready to plant out in the local area. This year we hope to increase that number.

·       We have encouraged and organised the surveying and recording of various species, including bats, moths, butterflies and bumblebees. This is with the aim of developing a baseline so that we know what requires to be/can be practically done to improve and enhance our local biodiversity.  With support from the High Peak Borough Council Community Climate and Nature Action Fund, we have acquired specialist detection equipment for bats and moths, which we loan out to the community. 20 villagers and their families benefited from this in 2023. We have also started to formally record the many veteran trees in our area so that they may be celebrated and, ultimately, protected.

·       Working with the Peak District National Park and Woodland Trust, we have helped 4 local landowners to raise funds for and plant new trees and hedges in the landscape. In the last 12 months, using volunteers, we have assisted with the planting of around 3600 trees and 10800 hedging plants in our local area.

·       We have raised the funds for and restored a woodland pond in the Bluebell Wood local nature reserve, using volunteers.

·       We have organised volunteers from the community to control the spread of Himalayan Balsam, a designated Invasive Species.

·       We have, working with Peak District National Park, organised and held meetings with local farmers to encourage awareness and the take-up of national schemes which are aimed at helping their farm businesses whilst also benefitting the environment.

For 2024 our aim is to continue to develop and expand the above activities, with one significant addition. We will raise funds for and create a wildflower area in an existing grass verge in the village, in a publicly-accessible area. With pollinator-friendly plants and enhanced with a bench and a regularly-updated display with information and work by local artists and schoolchildren, this will be an attractive place to linger. It will be the flagship for further similar projects in the village over the next few years, eventually creating a wildflower trail around the village.

We have many other ideas for future years and would welcome more people to join our group – expertise is not necessary, just enthusiasm and a little bit of time!

1 comment:

  1. I have lots of oak and hornbeam seedlings which need moving. Where should I take them? Sue McCall


    The Big Plastic Count 11-17th March 2024 We know that plastic is an environmental problem with much o...