The LANCE Trust is dedicated to stopping and reversing the decline of wildlife habitats and species in the parish of Long Ashton.
Formed in April 2021, (formerly LANCET), the LANCE Trust is now in its second year of work. The sale of home-grown native plants at the Village Markets have raised awareness on how individuals with the parish can give space for nature to thrive. These also gave us a chance to meet people and pass on information and advice as well as plenty of enthusiasm.
Projects with Fenswood Farm, Northleaze School, Long Ashton Parish Council and Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary have also spread the word and increased our reach, as well as creating refuges for a variety of species.
We believe that, by working together, we can help bees, butterflies, reptiles, birds and mammals, restore habitats, improve the health of our soils, increase our wellbeing and help mitigate the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.
In 2019, Long Ashton Parish Council declared a climate emergency.
In November 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stated that climate change and biodiversity loss are twin crises that should be tackled together. Working with nature to conserve, manage and restore ecosystems – known as nature-based solutions – is one of the most cost effective approaches to both mitigating and adapting to climate change. More on this can be found here.
Just a couple of months before this, the UK Government committed to protecting 30% of UK land to boost biodiversity by 2030. Sadly, there is much work to be done since research published in May 2021 (from the Natural History Museum in collaboration with the RSPB), shows that the UK is at the bottom of the G7 league table for how much biodiversity it has left. Shockingly, it’s also placed in the lowest 12% of global countries and territories for biodiversity intactness.
Over the last decades, particularly since the end of the Second World War, Long Ashton has seen its share of wildlife species plummet too. But, by working together, the LANCE Trust believes it can stop the decline and even reverse it.
...The arrival of skylarks back on the closed Yanley Landfill site shows, given a helping hand, nature can come back.
In August 2021, Long Ashton Parish Council in liaison with some of our Trustees launched its Biodiversity: Every Garden Counts initiative after declaring a Biodiversity Emergency.
Much work and research nationwide has gone into finding what can be done to reverse the precipitous decline of our wildlife. Words like ‘rewilding’ and phrases such as ‘habitat restoration’, ‘regenerative agriculture’ and ‘agro-forestry’ are now in common use.
Mixed in with the good news, April 2022 brought some bad news when the British Ecological Society released a report that warned the UK is on track to miss the pledge, made by the UK Govt, to boost biodiversity by protecting 30% of our land. Some analyses warned that just 5% of our land is effectively protected.
In December 2022, the UK was one of 200 countries that signed an agreement at COP15 to conserve 30% of land and 30% of oceans by 2030. The UK is also the most nature depleted country in the G7 and one of the worst in the world. But many British people are keen to reverse the eradication of wildlife habitats and species. By working at grassroots level upwards, we hope to facilitate the adoption of the 30x30 principles by the Parish of Long Ashton. We aim to collaborate with various stakeholders to manage habitats in the parish more effectively for biodiversity. By linking organisations, landowners, experts, local communities and neighbouring parishes, we hope to maintain, restore and create a nature friendly environment for the benefit of wildlife and people. The creation of safe habitats and corridors will help to conserve species that are currently present, some of which are nationally endangered. In time, these may also encourage the return of species that are no longer seen here but once thrived in our fields, hedgerows, gardens and woodland.
However, as people become much more aware of the need to increase biodiversity than they were a decade or so ago now, surely, is the time for everyone in Long Ashton to join in whatever way they can. As Ben Rawlence points out in The Treeline:
“Hope lies in shared endeavour, in transformation, in meaningful work for the common good.”
Read about Our Projects and let us know here if you’d like to join our mailing list and get involved.
Unfortunately, up ahead, there is the prospect of huge building developments eating up land with an associated loss in biodiversity. But, for now, Long Ashton is blessed with a few hotspots for nature. However, they can’t thrive in isolation. Joining them up to link with similar work and projects in other parishes nearby will give a major boost to local species, like skylarks, kestrels and barn-owls that are declining nationwide.