Kerala

Barren land into woodland in 18 years

P.M. Nandakumar of Nandanam at Madakkimala in Wayanad district watching a wild orchid planted in his man made forest.   | Photo Credit: E.M. MANOJ

Away from the hustle and bustle of cities, the “woodland” akin to a minuscule forest with wide varieties of wild genetic diversities, is harboured by a nature lover on his homestead land at Madakkimala, nearly 10 km away from Kalpetta.

P.M. Nandakumar at Madakkimala bought the one and a half acre of a barren land nearly 18 years back with 13 trees altogether is now harbouring 1000 odd trees comprising 164 species of trees. 37 species among them come under Rare, Endangered and Threatened (RET) category.

Mr. Nandakumar has also regenerated a sacred grove inside the miniature forest with 20 varieties of bamboo, 18 varieties of climbers and 14 varieties of medicinal herbs.

There is an exquisite collection of wild orchids too, which are endemic to the Western Ghats. The collection consists of 73 varieties of epiphytic orchids and 30 varieties of terrestrial orchids.

The small arboretum gives its space for high value medicinal plants and altogether 56 different species of plants are maintained.

Rare rhizomes such as ginger (red and black), black turmeric, Kasthoorimanjal and Karimanjal are also nurtured.

As many as 30 varieties of ferns are another cynosure of the woodland.

Each of these species is planted with utmost care and consideration where evergreen trees and deciduous trees occupy their own unique space. Every plant is properly documented with its scientific name and common name, hence a visitor can easily understand the details of the plant.

This garden embodies the science into practice by a common man who has paid his earnest interest to conserve and protect the dying wealth.

“I learned that nearly one third of flowering plants on earth are on the verge of extinction and the changes in climate and increased anthropomorphic interventions are making the life of plants awful,” says Mr. Nandakumar.

“This reality inspired me to transform the barren land to a miniature forest,” he said.

“It is high time to act as a conscious citizen to do his part to conserve the nature and its resources,” he added. The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) here has provided its support to plant the RET species of trees in the woodland.

The personal efforts of a single person lead to the conservation of a large number of species, popularization of conservation science and marked himself a Biodiversity hero, Dr. N. Anil Kumar, Senior Director MSSRF says.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 3:27:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/barren-land-into-woodland-in-18-years/article35507885.ece

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