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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Spring is coming

Hares spring loose From the woods. They race towards you And chase and box The cold from your bones.

Homage to the Holm Oak

In February the late night ‘twoo’ of the tawny owl crosses the threshold from the waking world into sleep. My conscious mind twitches, one eye open. I can almost see him perched on a branch outside the window. Talons clenched. Eyes wide, darker than the night itself. In the morning I often wonder if the owl was a dream. Did I mistake the tolling of the nearby church bell for its rhythmic, comforting hoot? Stepping out of my door I […]

Newts vs people?

On Thursday’s BBC Question Time MP Jacob Rees-Mogg bemoaned the environment holding up so many developments, asking whether we couldn’t care about people instead. The pollutants that a new runway at Heathrow would create, for example, would affect people’s health. It is well established that green spaces and wildlife help people’s mental and physical health, as well as community cohesion. There are millions of people in this country who appreciate the piece of green space near them, the creatures they see. […]

Winter Day’s End

Rooks One by one Take (Or Fake) Shelter In bare branches Exposed to Winter winds. But all at once It’s more than one. A handful, A bunch A swarm, The sky turned From fountain pen blue To charcoal black. Together, Their feathers, Sweep the air like a strong chill breeze, Their throaty calls like a record skipping, Saying over and over, That the cold is here to stay for longer than you feared; Until the hares, Spring loose From the […]

Vision for Nature: saving wildlife past, present and future

A transcript of my talk at the Natural History Museum on 11 December 2015. A place where birds don’t fly is a place where people don’t mix, ideas don’t get sparked, friendships don’t get forged, stereotypes don’t get broken, collaboration doesn’t happen, trust doesn’t get built, and freedom doesn’t ring. – Thomas L Friedman Birds have been at the heart of my life for about as long as I can remember. I’ve loved wildlife since I was a lot younger […]