The top three dishes contain the beetles collected from Pig Down at Lower Pertwood Farm

The lower dish has the beetles from a neighbouring 21 acre field where chemicals are used

During the drought of 2018, a comparative study was carried out to determine the population of carabid beetles living in a 21 acre conventional field of winter wheat and an equivalent sized field at Lower Pertwood Farm where no chemicals are ever applied.

The results came as no surprise. In the “conventionally-farmed” field, where chemicals had been applied, the soil was dry, lifeless and most beetle larvae failed in these conditions. In the organic fields, where the soil retained moisture and there was shading from weeds, more than three times the number of beetles were counted. Why are they important? A bit like worms, they carry organic matter deep into the soil to improve its quality to aid plant growth.

Alongside the beetle study, spiders were also counted and there were 70% more spiders in the organic field, compared with the field where pesticides had been applied.

In our current times of climate change, the agro-chemical industry does not have all the answers. Mother nature generally knows best.