Insect decline (Information)

Friday 19th May 2023
Nick Dubois

Welcome to the first news item published on the CDMS/CDT website. This article will be updated over time as it is an ongoing experiment.

As many of us know, there has been a dramatic decline in insects in many parts of the world, especially pollinating insects. This trend has more than one cause and we will look at that in subsequent pieces.

CDT is now in control of a few acres of land in the French Pyrenees that used to be grazed by cattle, but for the last three years has been left fallow. This is obviously a normal farming practice, but in this case CDT has decided to install an experiment on what was farmland to investigate how small areas of land on farms, set aside, can help increase the number of insect species.

The land is on a slope, facing north but gains a lot of sunshine. The top two acres are being cut into strips, each being cut a month apart. There will be a control strip allowed to continue growing and a strip continuously cut short each month. The lower two acres are being left to return to the wild, a rewilding project on a small scale. This looks at how quickly plants, mainly tree species, can disperse uphill and what species are identified. This will add to the two acres of forest that now has no cattle roaming through it and no hunting.

The goal of these experiments is to gain primary data that can be researched and used to help land owners understand what they can do to increase insect species. This is an ongoing long term experiment that will be updated regularly.

● All information above is directly from the source, CDT.