Verum walked into Felix’s garden to have a chat with her friend. As she had expected, Felix was busy gardening. He looked up with a smidge of mud on his nose and said, “Hi Verum! I am just planting some wildflowers!”
“Oh, wildflowers are certainly pretty! Is that why you are planting them?” said Verum as she plonked down next to Felix and started helping him.
“Not quite. I recently learned about a study by the United Kingdom (UK) Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. According to it, putting land meant for farming aside for nature does not reduce the amount of food produced,” said Felix, “In fact, it can boost biodiversity in the region. That’s why I have decided to plant wildflowers.”
“Hmm, tell me more about this study,” said Verum.
“From 2005, scientists studied a large government-funded experiment at Hillsden. It’s a 1,000-hectare commercial farm in Buckinghamshire in the UK,” said Felix, “They created wildlife habitats here. You know, seed-bearing plants, wildflowers like me, and a particular kind of grass margins. The idea was that these would support a number of small mammals, birds, and insects, especially pollinators.
Pollination is the process by which plants reproduce. It involves the transfer of pollen grains from a part of the flower called the anther to another part called the stigma. Through this, certain plants create seeds and fruits. Seeds then grow into newer plants.
Pollinators refer to anything that helps this process.
Due to this experiment, the population of various butterfly species doubled and several bird species also benefited. But most importantly, the overall yield of food crops at Hillsden was maintained. The yield was even better for some crops. Can you believe it? All this despite the loss of farmland!”
“Wow, that is fascinating!” said Verum.