The insects are revolting! Nature’s keyworkers hold miniature protest at organic farm
Nature’s keyworkers held a protest standing up for their insect rights at an organic farm in the North East today, marking the start of Organic September.
Armed with miniature placards, they gathered at Bays Leap organic farm in Newcastle calling on the new Prime Minister to take action to save nature in their first 100 days in government.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition launched for Organic September by the Organic Trade Board on behalf of insects is gaining momentum with over 500 signatures, giving wildlife such as earthworms, ladybirds and bees a voice for the first time.
The UK’s organic industry is requesting the new PM commits to protecting wildlife in any policies - and represents the UK at the crucially important UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December.
Farmer Chris McDonald manages Bays Leap dairy farm, where the protest took place, which has been fully certified organic since 2018. Chris explained that his cows graze in the paddocks on forages such as herbal lays. Each year, he works with a local beekeeper to deploy bees onto the fields to help pollinate the flowers including red and white clover, lucerne and natural varieties.
He said: “The human race is here because of nature, let’s work with it. We’ve tried fighting it before and it doesn’t like it. If we want harmony, we need to give nature a chance. My forages work in harmony with the pollinators - they’re crucial in the balance of keeping my farm successful.”
The theme for this year’s Organic September is “Nature would choose organic”. This reflects that if wildlife such as bees, earthworms and ladybirds had a voice, they would want more farming to be organic, reducing their exposure to chemical fertilisers and pesticides, helping to keep the delicate ecosystem in balance.
Not only are insects a vital part of a balanced ecosystem, providing food for other animals and recycling nutrients, they also play an essential role in our global food system. One in three mouthfuls of food depends on pollinators and without pollinators we wouldn't have potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, coffee, chocolate or cotton.
Cristina Dimetto, General Manager of the Organic Trade Board (OTB), said: “Organic farming works with nature, not against it, encouraging natural predators like ladybirds and pollinators like bees and butterflies rather than spraying harmful pesticides. As a result, on average, plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms. There are up to seven times more wild bees in organic grain fields. So if nature did have a voice - it would choose organic.
“If pesticides were substituted for more sustainable farming practices (like organic), this could slow or reverse the decline in insects. The hope is that even tiny insect-sized steps can make a big difference when it comes to keeping nature’s crucial keyworkers thriving.”