Givendale Cycle Ride

30 Days Wild, day 19: This afternoon, I cycled a 20 km circular route up Givendale to the top of Garroby Hill, at 250 metres the nearest we have to a mountain around here. When I first came to live here 19 years ago, it was a route that was always full of wildlife encounters, but today there was very little. A couple of buzzards circled above me as I climbed the hill, but where there were once skylarks, lapwings and curlews calling, a tractor was spraying what little life remained.

 Spraying the life out of the countryside

 Not much biodiversity here

On the plain below, I would once have been guaranteed the sight of a few brown hares, but today there were none. There are some successes for wildlife here - red kites are now well established, but the general picture is one of decline. Arable farming is getting ever more intensive, leaving little room for wildlife. I'm sure it's profitable, but can it really be sustainable?

Near Bishop Wilton, a wide verge provides space for wild
flowers and pollinating insects

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