Shared Earth is a new series from the BBC Natural History Unit which celebrates the natural world and explores what we can all do to help conserve wildlife and habitats and reduce our footprint on the planet
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Friday 8 June 2007
Abbots Hall Farm located on the Blackwater Estuary
Abbots Hall Farm near Mersea in Essex is one of the first properties in the UK to be deliberately sacrificed to the sea. The intention was to turn prime farmland into salt marsh in order to make up for the natural habitat being lost to coastal erosion.
Saltmarsh is one of the UK’s scarcest habitats, packed with plant and animal species rarely seen elsewhere. Dylan talked to Dave Marsh of the Essex Wildlife Trust about the astonishing speed at which saltmarsh species have re-colonised the flooded farmland.
Every year the Clyde River Foundation offers fish tanks full of trout eggs to Glasgow primary schools. The children look after the eggs for five to eight weeks before releasing the tiny fry into the river. The idea is to connect local children to the river, giving them the chance to learn about its ecology and its importance to the culture of Glasgow. Similar ‘trout in the classroom’ schemes are operated in many parts of the UK.
The National Trust believes that there’s a world of undiscovered insects lurking in the cracks and crevices of some of its most formal gardens. Matthew Oates of the Trust has compiled information on the gardens he has surveyed but he would love listeners to contribute their own sightings. You may even discover a species new to Britain like Matthew’s nipple snail.
A pest is only an animal out of place. That’s the view of John Bryant who operates one of Britain’s only humane pest deterrence companies. He believes that virtually all pests can be harmlessly removed or persuaded to leave our homes and gardens. Using his in-depth knowledge of animal behaviour he has developed cunning strategies which he was only too happy to share with Dylan.