Bring together young naturalists and farmers for the State of Nature. New ways to disrupt old conversations: examples of work in practice (rev Sept 19)
When I hosted a Defra-funded gathering of young farmers and naturalists (Youth Nature Network), I set the stage for the day with this introduction so we could all discuss issues close to all our hearts without saying for whom we worked, avoiding ‘fixed position’ statements, not fear judgement from peers, but be open to seeing beyond ‘normalised’ perceptions and prejudices.
The same idea applied to conversations I’ve hosted with National Trust rangers on a walk, an evening for a government supported upland partnership and a conference of gamekeepers and ecologists – all aimed at stimulating freethinking on land uses without ‘dissing’ or dismissing past practices but getting closer to land managers at grass roots.
A trip to the Hague was a lesson in environmental reconciliation without recrimination over first generation ‘intensive’ farming practices.
When you get an MP, some beekeepers, a handful of agro-chemists and enviro campaigners into a room, see what happens when they are asked to remove their labels and speak without fear or favour.
And again. An eNGO director and shooting agent walking and talking on freshly discovered common ground. Blend three rural leaders at the Hay Festival to cover crops, organic pigs, indoor poultry or farming and rewilding without overplaying or grandstanding to an inquisitive audience.
Be curious. Be tolerant of other other views. Be a freethinker. And here’s my collaborative conservation winner from a few year’s back as to what we can all do for the State of Nature in 2019 – live 19.00 3 Oct