Despite a sunny day climbing in the trees, I’m not quite feeling it today. To put it mildly.
I share the view of every conservation organisation in the UK, I was strongly in support of a vote to Remain in the EU and the result of the referendum has left me shocked and deeply saddened.
Lawton came up with a neat summary of what was needed to enhance our nature reserves in his ‘Making Space for Nature‘ review. This summary was ‘bigger, better and more joined up’. This was targeted at English wildlife sites, but I believe the mantra was also well served by Britain’s place in the EU, not only but perhaps more significantly in our approach to conservation and wild spaces. Many species do not respect country boundaries and require international protection on their migration routes, whilst other rare species find their stronghold on our shores. We have some unique habitats which are important on a continental basis, and these were given the recognition that they rightly deserve.
The overarching EU legislation provided the strongest protection we have for our most endangered species, and our most valuable open spaces. To see this benefit, as well as so many more of the positive aspects of the UK, put in jeapody to a campaign of mis-information and downright xenophobia still has me in shock.
If we had a green government, of any shade, I could see potential benefits. The Common Agricultural Policy is a significant cause of harm to our native wildlife, as has been extensively demonstrated by George Monbiot amongst others. Freed from the subsidy system which keeps uneconomical land from being allowed to rewild, there could be a real boost to British wildlife. However this current government has demonstrated time and time again that they view protection of the environment as little more than red tape – be this buzzards, badgers, our forests, our renewable energy industry or the bees which keep our entire country alive.
So for Day 24 of #30dayswild, this image feels the most appropriate to share. These beautiful dogroses were flowering ten metres high in an ash I was climbing, scrambling up the branches to bloom in the canopy. There’s a lot of uncertainty ahead, not least for our valuable natural environment but for the hope that England can be the progressive and enlightened country I would be proud to call home. If you’ll excuse the platitude, I rather like this little image of hope.