Biodiversity conservation often boils down to identifying what is special and trying to maintain it in situ. The best way of conserving wildlife is to provide it with an environment rich in opportunities.
Traditonal, flower-rich meadows are now so rare in Wales they are beyond the experience of most of us. We should be grateful to the pioneering few who are fighting to save them. It's not just the plants that are affected - there's good and bad news about butterflies in this issue too.
This issue is full of accounts of what people are doing for nature, especially at a landscape scale - blanket bogs, coastal heath, wetlands, mountains and farms all feature. Plus a closer look at water voles and Bechstein's bats.
It's good to give attention to less spectacular and obvious subjects. Door snails, tree lungwort lichens, freshwater pearl mussels and tufted saxifrage all have a voice in this issue.
The best argument for conservation is that it is fun. A hay meadow in high summer, before it is cut, is a joy to the senses. It’s a sad irony that those of us who most enjoy getting out and seeing nature are also those most likely to be aware of the environmental cost of too much travel. This edition takes a long look at those joys and responsibilities.
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