Omagh Ladies’ Probus hear about Field of Dreams

Speaker Sir Bob Salisbury and club member, Cate McCrory who expressed thanks                                   Field of Dreams
At the monthly meeting of Omagh and District Ladies’ Probus on Thursday afternoon, the ladies were delighted to listen to Sir Bob Salisbury telling us about his “Field of Dreams”.
After giving us some background to his move to Northern Ireland, he described the land that he and his wife, Rosemary, bought in 2002 to create their new home.  It was only when they started to plan the site and make plans for their new home and garden that they realised how little wildlife was around them.  This was reflective of the general loss of habitat for wildlife in Britain.  He mentioned the causes for this: these included land being overgrazed, and misused, modern farming methods and loss of hedgerows, drainage and house-building.  These have caused a loss of 98% of wildflower meadows, 50% of ancient lowland woods and 50% of our natural orchards.  As Bob and Rosemary planned their new home, they wondered whether they could turn the clock back and re-create a wildlife garden. 
Their first steps were to consider the outcome they wanted, look at the microclimate and draw a plan and design their new garden to provide a varied habitat for all wildlife.  Through an illustrated talk, Bob showed us the development of his garden and the huge transformation that has taken place over the last 16 years since they broke ground.  They now have a wonderful garden with a formal garden, a vegetable garden, an orchard and a lake.
Bob maintains that there is a lot of land in Ireland that is simply lying derelict and that we should all be doing our bit to provide habitats where all animals can live and flourish.  We owe it to future generations to make a small difference to wards preserving what we have now.  Given a fighting chance, nature is amazingly resilient and will return to its former glory.
Cate McCrory proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the members of Omagh and District Ladies’ Probus.
New members, or those who may just be interested in joining Omagh & District Ladies’ Probus would be welcome to attend our next meeting when our speaker will be Audrey Hodge.   This meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday 2nd May in Omagh Library.