Margins are where two ecosystems meet and a third system is born. The overlap between the two ecosystems contains plant and animal species from both systems plus new ones that have adapted in this in-between space. There are no straight lines in nature because nature chooses to create more edge where diversity can flourish. The brain is an excellent example where 2903 square centimetres of grey matter is crammed into the skull by virtue of the fact that it is folded and grooved. For example, mangroves and wetland areas where land and water meet are always teaming with life from both ecosystems and often new and different things develop in these areas. Wetlands have long been viewed as the area that charges our hydrological systems so they need protection at all costs. This does not only relate to ecosystems edges it can be pond edges, building edges and urban fringe areas. Urban fringe areas are now been used by innovative people to create community and grow food for the cities. In our societies we find free thinkers living on the fringe, often the best innovation comes from these people as they are not constrained by societies thinking patterns and are free to try new and different things. So, instead of concreting building edges and pond edges thinks of ways to utilise these more creatively. Another edge never thought about is topsoil which is the edge between air and land, without which we would not be able to grow food. Healthy topsoil is full of life; fungi, bacteria, earthworms, spiders just to mention a few. There is more diversity and opportunity for innovation at the margins so when next you are planting, designing or simply marveling at how communities function don’t forget to value the edges.
Mel Marx | Secretary