We have two fascinating talks lined up for the PGP autumn meeting at 2.30pm on Saturday October 22 at the Mackenzie Hall. Both speakers are members of the local community: Andy Stott will give us a preview of the UN Biodiversity Summit to be held in Montreal in December and Alex Crawley will talk about the no-fence conservation grazing enterprise he has set up based at his home in the Hudnalls.
Given that biodiversity is a central topic in so much of our activity in the PGP, many members will be keen to hear more about the UN summit. Andy Stott, one of our committee members, is a long-standing Defra adviser and a member of the team representing the UK in the summit negotiations. Andy will be able to provide fascinating insights into the preparations for the meeting and what it means for us. He will be speaking in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the government.
Governments and ministers from around the world will come together to try to agree a new set of goals to guide global actions to protect and restore nature up to 2050. It is vital that they succeed because our planet is experiencing the largest loss of life since the extinction of the dinosaurs. Scientists say the way we mine, pollute, hunt, farm, build and travel is putting at least one million species at risk of extinction – an echo of Dave Gouslon’s warning of an insect apocalypse at his talk last month. The summit has ambitions on a global scale, and for all countries in the world, but it is also an opportunity to consider the implications for us at a local level.
The revolutionary feature of Alex Crawley’s conservation grazing scheme is that his cattle can be used in areas where there is no effective fencing. He has a small herd of traditional Herefords and Belted Galloways. They wear geo-collars which are linked to software which can be used to define exactly where they are allowed to graze. This is a real breakthrough, as it is often areas with no or inadequate fencing which most need the grazing. Alex will provide a detailed explanation of how the system works.
A fascinating meeting is promised, plus the usual break for refreshments. There will be no charge for entry – all are welcome, members and non-members alike.