The High Sheriff rides into Town
Some of Oxfordshire’s 'inspirational' climate action heroes were honoured at an awards ceremony on the 21 February.
Kevan Martin writes:
Eighteen groups, social enterprises, individuals, businesses, and other organisations were honoured with the High Sheriff's 'Climate Action Heroes Award' for their schemes, ranging from wildlife restoration work to renewable energy projects.
Among them was our Nature Recovery Network (NR) and the Thames Valley Wildflower Restoration Project (TVWMRP), who were recognised for the work that they have done in conserving and restoring Nature.
The activities of the Nature Recovery Network are well-documented on this Website. It is increasingly widely recognised that our mission of connecting enthusiasts and experts who live in the place, supported by local organisations and businesses, and all working together for a common good, has made a hugely positive and visible impact.
The Thames Valley Wildflower Restoration Project (TVWMRP), initiated by Catriona Bass and Kevan Martin of Long Mead, is a landscape-scale project that also requires many hands - farmers, botanists, GOs and NGOs, university researchers, care-farmers, local experts, and local enthusiasts. It has the goal of restoring a corridor of floodplain wildflower hay meadows in that existed along this part of the Thames from Saxon times. Tragically, 97% of these meadows, which are floral 'hot-spots', have been destroyed in just the last 100 years - only fragments totalling 4 square miles (the size of Heathrow Airport) remain in the whole of the UK. The mission of the TVWMRP is to reverse this rapid loss of one of our rarest habitats.
In our present climate crisis it has yet to be widely appreciated that one of the many 'ecosystem services' that these beautiful rare meadows supply is to sequester carbon, something they do more efficiently and more resiliently than forests. Long Mead, which appears in the Domesday Book, now has 1000 years of sequestered carbon stored in its soil and continues to do so, without any fanfare.
After a brief rest on our collective laurels, we all look forward to even Greater Things in 2022.