Welcome to my latest nature diary entry! I foresee these entries becoming more of a regular thing, a place where I can record my wild adventures in line with my goal to be more ‘active’ this year. After all, being wild shouldn’t be limited to just one month of the year! Here’s my diary for the wild encounters I had over the weekend.
I thought on this most auspicious of days, when the world is thinking of you, I would write you a letter. I wish to thank you for … well … everything.
The tropical rainforests of South America, the savannas of Africa, the grasslands of Mongolia, the ice sheets of Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef. We all wonder at their existence, their diversity, we cherish them and instinctively know to protect them. And yet one of our own natural wonders, pockets of precious habitat dotted across the British Isles, sit ignored and forgotten resulting in destruction and loss. Most of us don’t even really seem to know it’s there.
On Saturday my friend and I headed to the Nene Valley in Northamptonshire to explore the nature reserves there. We visited Ditchford Lakes and Meadows and Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows. Ditchford was lovely but Irthlingborough’s maze of paths and lakes turned out to be a real hidden gem, quieted away behind a main road. To my initial surprise it has been granted SSSI status but this soon made sense with the appearance of a multitude of butterflies.
It’s been a while since I shared one of these blogs. I guess for the past few months I’ve been holding the news and much of the general internet at a distance. Too much indulgence fills me with sadness and terror now that the Trumpkin-faced idiot is ruling the world, with no regard for the environment amongst a long list of awful things he is unleashing on us. And with Article 50 officially invoked here in the UK, it seems our greatest achievement right now as a nation is the fact we’re not America. I now loosely keep up to date with the news, still at a slight distance, but I don’t let the details overwhelm me. It’s a necessary trick as an environmental campaigner.
But depressing you was not the aim of this blog! Despite my dark moments of late, I always come back to realise that we cannot give up, that are far more good people than bad in this world and good things still and will happen. I heard someone say recently that much of the change we fight for now might not arrive for a long time but it is happening and that’s just more reason to keep going.
The opposition all over the world to Trump has at least shown one thing to me, just how much we care and that I need not feel alone in the battle. It’s up to us to not lose hope and (as mentioned below) to not just smother our fears and actions in anger. It’s also up to us to find common ground, not division, to learn how it feels to stand in someone else’s shoes. Because that’s one of the challenges that has caused a lot of this mess.
So here’s some of the reads I’ve come across in the past few months on the good news that has slipped off the radar and some great articles on how we can all help make the world a better place.
I’ve already shared with you some great habits to kickstart this year that will help you and the planet, all of which I’ll try to be doing too. But I thought I’d also share my personal goals for 2017. They are mostly centred around the themes of this blog and, if nothing else, writing them down publicly might mean I actually achieve them!
A few blogs I follow and have seen whilst out and about on the ‘net have shared the idea of choosing a word, a word that will embody the year. I think it’s a much better approach than the New Year’s Resolution cliche that most of us (a.k.a. me) inevitably fails. It’s why I also like the idea I mentioned before of building new habits into your life rather than attempting huge changes all in one go, which can be impossible.
My chosen word for the year is ‘active’. So for me this is about being more proactive in my life this year to achieve, learn, experience and enjoy the things that matter to me. All of my general goals fit pretty nicely into the word ‘active’.
Today me and the boyfriend took part in RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch that is happening this weekend, and it was a surprisingly eventful hour! I was really excited to take part this year now that we have a good sized back garden with grass, variety of deciduous and evergreen trees and hedges. I’ve also set up a stand in our front garden by our living room window that holds 3 bird feeders and a couple of dishes which is very popular with the locals.
We were going to do the hour of bird watching later in the day, but whilst making breakfast I spotted, much to my excitement, a song thrush. I was keen to include it in our results so we started then. Here’s the list of everything we saw:
- 1 song thrush
- 5 blackbirds (3 male, 2 female)
- 6 house sparrows
- 2 woodpigeons
- 1 carrion crow
- 1 common tern (it flew over)
- 6 starlings
- 1 jackdaw
- 1 dunnock
- 1 robin
- 2 herring gulls (if my ID was right!)
- 6 quail (ok I’m not being serious now, they are our pets!)
The frosted arrival of January, the beginning of a new year! A new number on the calendar and remembering to write a 7 when inscribing the date. Suddenly it feels the negativity of the past can be put aside and the positives built upon. It can’t help but invoke feelings of starting afresh within us or present us with the ideal opportunity to try new things. That’s why many of us use this month to reflect on things we’d like to improve and even task ourselves with achieving New Year’s resolutions.
Whilst grand-standing New Year’s resolutions can be an insurmountable challenge that inevitably become forgotten, establishing new habits that will benefit you and the planet could be the way to go. Improve yourself, you bank balance and help the environment! Here are 6 suggestions from me on habits to pick in 2017 that will benefit you and help our lovely old planet.
Twelve ideas on how to have a more environmentally friendly Christmas that will help you and your family have a more fun and rewarding special day! It’s likely to also help save you some money, at this most expensive time of the year!
There’s nothing quite like seeing charismatic species close up in the wild and last Saturday I had the magical opportunity of seeing exactly that. I went on a trip with the Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust group I’m a member of to see grey seals and their adorable newly born pups.