|The plants of wild flower meadows are adapted to, |
and need, grazing Photo: Sue Everett
|Belted Galloways grazing marshy pasture in the Kennet Valley|
Photo: Sue Everett
At the end of the day the clear focus for emissions-reductions must be fossil fuels - which provide much of the energy used to support growing crops for intensive and environmentally-damaging livestock production. Reducing dietary consumption of intensively-farmed meat, and to a lesser
extent dairy, can obviously be an important driver for reducing the most environmentally-damaging kinds of farming. In contrast, extensive pasture-fed livestock are powered primarily by the sun and provide the engines for maintaining some of Europe's most fabulous high value nature sites - from Devon's Culm Grasslands, to the Grand Causses in southern France and the high mountain pastures in the Pyrenees. So for those of us who choose not to be vegan, 'eating the view' and 'slow food' are the ways to go.
|The Large Blue Butterfly requires|
closely-grazed flower-rich limestone
pasture, where it's larval foodstuffs,
Wild Thyme and the grubs of red ants,
Photo: PJC&Co, Wikimedia
This article is a preview of a small part of the February edition of Conservation News which I compile, that will be published in British Wildlife magazine. This magazine is issued 6 times a year and is available by subscription only.
Organisations supporting sustainable grazing for climate and biodiversity include the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism, the Agricology initiative, Nature Friendly Farming Network and the Wales Grazing Animals Project.