My current read is Feral by George Monbiot, which discusses his vision for returning the uplands of Britain, such as Snowdonia and the North York Moors, to a more natural state, put in simplistic terms.
In a post I wrote last summer, Over the moors and back, I mentioned an article I’d read on the same issue. What this article didn’t detail was the kind of wildlife Monbiot envisioned. However, in his book he elaborates: wolves are one of his propositions.
Now, the country park which starts about 200 metres from my house certainly doesn’t harbour any wolves and probably wouldn’t qualify for the description of a rewilded entity. For a start, someone has been building a fence, although it clearly wasn’t purchased at B&Q (national hardware store).
On the other hand, I find it an increasingly interesting place to explore – and incredibly I’ve never before managed to visit in June. Or at least, I’d never passed this spectacular meadow:
It’s one of those places my photography skills fail to do justice to. Apart from the multitude of grasses and thistles, there are ox eye daisies, which I’ve just learned are the largest of our native daisies.
I can also understand now why my hay fever is so bad when I’m at home… I’m allergic to grass and there were definitely a lot of grass seeds in the vicinity. But I’d rather have the joy of a walk through such a regenerating environment on my doorstep.
We’d actually been on the walk to forage for more elderflower. The best spot was on the edge of a farmer’s field, which we found after going along a newly discovered path, but there is actually a very big elder at the exit of my housing estate, which I’d somehow managed not to notice until Tuesday gone, when I had an unexpected walk home through the village.
Children have made the space behind the tree into a hidden play area, which I was very pleased to see. So, at least a few of the youngsters today are experiencing more than the iPad world!
And as we wandered along the paths in the country park
I reflected that if this is how a landscape can develop in twenty years, what will my garden be like when I retire?