In the early 70s I spent about 5 years writing computer business models. These were mathematical models of shop floor operations which then fed up to the business financial statements so that the businesses could look at the implications of their plans. They could then draw up weekly or monthly schedules for the next year or several years and see what the financial implications would be.
Here’s an example. I wrote a shop floor model for ATV. Lew Grade would decide that ATV should have a Xmas spectacular or a sitcom series or whatever. We made rough profiles of the involvement of each department ( scene makers , makeup , camera ops , VTR ops etc ) over the lifetime of the programme , from planning to execution , for various kinds of programme, then the planners could plug the profile in and slide the plan around and see where there was capacity and where they would overrun. Then the financial implications would be fed up to the P&L , cash flow and balance sheet. (Incidentally while I was writing this model I had to share the Julie Andrews suite with Danny La Rue – but that’s another story). I wrote , or had a hand in writing , models for all kinds of other businesses.
The home we moved into about 10 years ago , in the South Downs National Park came with an ‘unimproved’ meadow . Later the family of the previous owners sent us some documentation showing that the meadow had a local designation – at that time it was called a SNCI , a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. More recently the designation has been renamed to Local Wildlife Site (LWS) , see https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/local-wildlife-sites. They say that “these non-statutory LWS sites are sites with ‘substantive nature conservation value’. They are defined areas, identified and selected for their nature conservation value, based on important, distinctive and threatened habitats and species with a national, region. Found on both public and private land, LWSs vary in size and shape from small ponds and copses and linear features such as hedgerows, road verges and water courses to much larger areas of habitat such as ancient woodlands, heaths, wetlands and grassland. They support both locally and nationally threatened wildlife, and many sites will contain habitats and species that are priorities under the county or UK Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP). Collectively they play a critical role in the conservation of the UK’s natural heritage by providing essential wildlife refuges in their own right and by acting as stepping stones, corridors and buffer zones to link and protect other site networks and the open spaces of our towns and countryside. . . LWSs can be amongst the best sites for biodiversity. It is essential, therefore, that the different status assigned to LWSs should not lessen the perception of their importance and the vital role they play in conserving our natural heritage.“
The meadow is noteworthy because of its biodiversity and is one of 3% of such meadows which remain , the rest having been given over to agriculture or other development. We are now in a project with the South Downs Authority for the meadow to become a donor meadow: the hay will be spread on other meadows to encourage their biodiversity. The first species survey we had done is shown below . We’ve just had another survey but the results are not in yet.
Round the garden , sycamores pop up like weeds and even a visitor from Natural England said we should do something about them. I decided to top three that were shading where we didn’t want shade. They weren’t so big , only six inches or so in diameter. So project 4 which then turned into project 4++.