Combesgate

Rational Trust....managing the nation's land

Josh Day, National Trust local ranger, gave Coastwise members an insight into his very thoughtful approach to managing the NT land between Croyde and Ilfracombe, which covers everything from Culm Grassland to Victorian walkways and bothies.
Josh does plenty of the usual fence and stile repairs, scrub bashing and visitor management, but he also brings new approaches to bear.
To illustrate his views on focussing both scientific and artistic sides of his brain to bear, he used his excellent photographic skills, and his pictures not only show technical skill, but also tell a story.
Josh gave a short overview of the National Trust history, starting with Octavia Hill in 1884, and moved on to its current policies. Josh has an interest in maintaining soil nutrients, and returning to a natural balance of land, flora and fauna. One of his projects has involved introducing cattle grazing to scrubland to help break up thickets and bramble patches, and he introduced the concept of "hidden fences" using electromagnetic fields from a buried cable to give cows a reminder of their territory through a receiver/collar.
Josh's philosophy of life and nature reflects that nature as a whole is so much bigger, complicated and subtle than we usually think, and that straightforward land management needs to be done with much more care. An excellent and thought-provoking talk.
 

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