Cathy's Blog: Natures benefits come from working together!

The natural world benefits from our working together and, as the tidal surge has come and gone, it was a strong reminder of the effect that our natural world has on us all. We may not all have suffered loss, damage or tragedy but some did. I live in Aldeburgh and preparing for possible evacuation last weekend made me appreciate the value of people, organisations and the internet for sharing advice. I can only praise the many agencies that make up our emergency response teams who worked together to support our communities.

It was also enlightening (now time has passed) to watch ‘natural process’ in action. My appreciation of predicting weather occurrences has been renewed. What a tough job! It was only a ‘slight’ change in wind direction and speed, a ‘slight’ – just minutes – of difference in the surge arriving before the high tide, that reduced possible impact on the coast and rivers. Quite a different experience of natural process, only a day or two later, was the glorious morning sunshine on a frosty field causing a fine mist haze.

Nationally, soon after the surge, news reports suggested ‘nothing much happened after all’ but locally we know there was tragedy, breaches in sea defences at Dingle Marshes, overtopping of jetty’s, flooding of boatyards, damage at Southwold Harbour, and a change to the shape of the beaches, to name a few. Our dynamic coast in action again.

Services working together last weekend is one thing, and the central work of the AONB Partnerships working together to enhance nature is another. In the Dedham Vale AONB this week lots of tree planting happened as part of the “500 Trees” project – a partnership of landowners, volunteers and the AONB, funded by Essex & Suffolk Water Branch Out Fund. Across both the AONBs are deliveries of ‘Scattered Orchard’ trees and plants benefiting pollinator insects – a partnership of parish communities, volunteers and the AONB, funded by grants. And on the River Box is a river enhancement scheme to improve the diversity of river habitats to benefit fish, invertebrates and aquatic and marginal plants, funded by the Environment Agency. Natures benefits come from working together!

First published in the East Anglian Daily Times January 2017

By Cathy Smith on October 20th, 2017

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