What is biodiversity?
We have recently been asked “what is biodiversity, and is it really important?” Well yes, it is vitally important! Biodiversity is the variety/diversity and abundance of living species and habitats on the planet, right down to the rocks that weather to become soil. It is also how these species and habitats interact with each other to boost ‘ecosystem services’ such as providing clean water and air, healthy soils and flood resilience.
No matter how small, everything on the planet has a role to play. Yes that includes wasps, they are incredible at pest control! We have blogged before about the importance of not making nature sterile, of clearing woodlands of all the cut timber/brash or of cutting grass to within an inch of its life. These are vital micro habitats. The insects that decompose material also need food and shelter, just like foxes or deer. If we clear it all because we like straight lines and everything to be tidy, we are destroying habitats and creating more problems than solutions.
The higher the biodiversity the more resilient and healthier our ecosystems become, creating a positive loop of natural sustainability for all life, not just for us. An increased gene pool makes for stronger species with natural selection thinning out mutations and weakness.
A healthy ecosystem rich in biodiversity provides so many natural services and not just the selection stated above. We also gain valuable resources such as food and medicines and we benefit socially through education, recreation and the cultural values and links we have with nature.
Cumbernauld Living Landscape is working with local communities to utilise the benefits of a biodiverse town, and we’re also improving the biodiversity through our habitats and access projects putting people and nature at the heart of Cumbernauld’s future.