As this is my very first blog ever, I thought I’d start with a brief introduction; I’m Jenny Marsden the Finance Manager. I started volunteering for The Grasslands Trust in 2005 when the Trust was only 3 years old and after a few months volunteering, I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent position. I’ve spent the past 7 years ensuring our income is spent prudently in order to maximise vital conservation work. As a small charity, every penny really does count and we are incredibly grateful to all our supporters. The current economic climate is particularly challenging for charities as many funders are making cut-backs.
What can I bring to this Blog I hear you say? Well, not having a background in conservation, I hope to bring a layman’s perspective to the work we do. As well as the occasional delve into the exciting world of charity finance of course!
Moving to rural Hampshire 16 years ago and surrounded by bright green fields, I assumed (as I’m sure most of the public does) that the countryside was brimming with wildlife. Working for The Grasslands Trust has opened my eyes to the stark reality that most of the green grass I see has been agriculturally modified with fertilisers and herbicides and therefore virtually devoid of wildlife. Talking to friends & relatives, its incredible how few people are aware of the situation; it’s just assumed that ‘green’ equals ‘nature’. It’s amazing how regular Sunday walks can take on a completely different perspective when you realise how little wildlife rich grassland there is, it’s truly shocking. Most of the short grass appears almost barren and rather sad. I’m now constantly trying to spot wild flowers, insects and little pockets of wildlife grassland to get excited about and it’s not that easy. Try it yourself on your next country walk? Are you lucky enough to live near a wildflower meadow or do you find it hard to spot butterflies, bees or wildflowers? Reading Nature’s Tapestry is a brilliant introduction to grasslands, so please pass the link onto friends & family.
Having noticed a distinct decline in the number of butterflies in my own garden, despite my neighbours magnificent Buddleia, I have been trying to plant more insect-friendly plants. Sadly my garden is too small to sow a wildflower meadow, but I have decided to give up my modest 2m2 raised vegetable beds to annual wildflowers this year. I’ll be keeping a diary of my progress via this blog to let you know how I get on and also hopefully reporting an increase in bees & butterflies over the summer.