My trip north to northern fields, moors, forests, streets and COP26’s Green Zone is mainly in pictorial form. There’s much to glean from between the lines: beyond the pic, click the link
An old friend puts me up for the night in Swaledale. We talk about curlews and 30 years working in land. I buy cheese at Settle as an offering to my upcoming rural conversationalists. Then to Malham. A picturesque landscape worthy of a National trust postcard – which is what much of it is.
For some, it’s less about unprofitably pushing to produce food, but more about letting the land express itself, which in turns then turns a better profit. Farming on, and between the gritstones, is a new vibe gripping some farmers in this area.
There’s more hen harriers on grouse moors than people know. Natural England’s raptor worker and some birders at Druids Hide near Masham were delighted by 7 ring-tails coming to roost; with a peregrine razzing them up to boot. A piece in the Guardian here (Dec 21) on the place.
A wild windy day to shoot the breeze and some ‘wild’ pheasants while garnering intel as to what people think on the ground. “When’s this steel shot coming in?” was heard across the bar at the end of the day.
Face to face
Always good to chew the cud face-to-face. Especially after a year of observing online shenanigans and wilting in soulless zoom-inars. Rewilding is wanting bed fellows but may have left it late in the day. Obtuse yes? Contact me if you want the intel.
Doddington North forest is England’s largest area of recent new planting. Though few have heard about it. There’s also plenty of natural regen, snipe and kestrels. Talking of sniping, Twitter can be a tough place to ‘ground-truth’ some reality issues!
How fascinating to interact with socialists as they challenge environmentalists and XR. Later a farmer ‘bombs’ a sponsor’s event (Sainsbury), mavericks, politicos embrace enviro, Leaf labelled greens at Tesco. While hydrogen powered JCB tractors close in, youngsters voice lines to be heard and drummers vent their anger.
This 60 sec #voxpopcop blind-sided me – ‘what will the UN do about us cooking on toxic smoke charcoal?’ My COP outtake is all about building trust around an ability to collaborate -rather than pre-doom-laden targets.
“To explain the science behind climate change, have a debate…we are not here to educate people”Climate Fresk
From city station to open road hybrid car to revisit an upland journey of adaptive objectives.
Community-led wildlife in wild places while meeting what statutory nature designation demands, is a brave journey for Langholm in southern Scotland (see my visit last year). Listen to the podcast in Feb 2022 with BBC Countryfile Magazine.
Pennine to post
Finally across the Pennines to sum up an online bird conference on humans and birds as the clock ticks, I realise we all need a tad more time to read behind pictures or think between lines or soundbites.
Addendum – some of the subjects above are in my two part podcast with Chair of Natural England – Tony Juniper.