Locusts on the A Rocha menu

More than two billion people regularly eat insects, but most Westerners are reluctant to try them. And so, at the A Rocha Netherlands conference for volunteers in June, the starter on the Saturday night was a locust. ‘It tasted a bit like peanuts,’ said Chris Naylor, A Rocha International Director who was the guest speaker, ‘and it certainly got everyone talking about food and its environmental impact.’

A Rocha supporters from all 13 action groups scattered throughout the country enjoyed two days together sharing skills and ideas. The groups get involved in a huge range of practical conservation activities. Some have adopted a local site where they regularly undertake habitat improvements, such as creating ponds or cutting back vegetation to maintain open glades. Others are involved in wildlife monitoring, such as the Amersfoort group which carries out regular monitoring of breeding birds and bats. ‘It was tremendously encouraging to see so much enthusiasm, and such a wide age-range too,’ said Embert Messelink, the Dutch National Director.

The conference was held at a monastery: on Saturday afternoon, everyone helped with some serious gardening to keep the old beech avenues open. (Allian Mulder)

The conference was held at a monastery: on Saturday afternoon, everyone helped with some serious gardening to keep the old beech avenues open. (Allian Mulder)

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