My trip north to northern fields, moors, forests, streets and COP26’s Green Zone is mainly in pictorial form. There’s much between the lines: look beyond the pic, click the link/pic and leave a comment.
Heading north into the unknown. 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 others, it’s less about being unprofitable in producing food than enabling land to express itself, while then turning a 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. The Natural England raptor worker and visiting birders at Druids Hide near Masham were delighted by 7 ring-tails coming into roost with a peregrine razzing them up to boot. A piece in the Guardian here (Dec 21).
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 after a year of observing online shenanigans and wilting in zoom seminars. 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 regen, snipe and kestrels. Talking of sniping, Twitter can be a tawdry, and at times clueless, place on ‘ground-truthed’ land-based issues.
How fascinating to interact with socialists as they challenge environmentalists and XR, a farmer ‘bombs’ a sponsor’s event (Sainsbury), mavericks, politicos embrace enviro, Leaf labelled greens due at Tesco, hydrogen powered JCB tractors close in, youngsters voice lines to be heard and drummers vent their anger.
“To explain the science behind climate change, have a debate…we are not here to educate people”Climate Fresk
Time to slip from station to car to upland to record a journey of changing objectives.
Community-led wildlife in wild places may not always provide what statutory nature designation demands, as this brave journey at Langholm in southern Scotland unfolds (see my visit last year). Listen to the podcast in Feb 2022.
Pennine to post
Racing helter-skelter across wild wet ditches and damp fields, to sum up an online bird conference on humans and birds. I realise we all need a tad more time to read behind a picture, think between the lines or about a soundbite.
**for deep-dive stuff** – listen to my two part podcast with Chair of Natural England – Tony Juniper (a pragmatist in a partisan world).
[This blog, and stuff I’ve done for 25 years odd, is dedicated to my dear father – countryman, hunter-naturalist, forester – who died earlier this month aged 84. He suffered from depression and took his own life.]