My preparations for Spring are almost done. The nest boxes have been cleaned, repaired and new ones put up; the lawn mower is in for servicing; wild flower seeds are growing in the warmth of the Conservatory; the hedges have been trimmed; and the ponds have been cleared of old lilies and other pond plants. It is very satisfying.
This year more than many before I am looking forward to the warmth and growth and new life that comes with Spring. It may be because the winter has been wildly erratic, testing of wildlife and humans in many ways: it may be, too, that the new season is a reassuring reminder of the constancy of the rhythm of nature just as uncertainty about the future of the world grows. To the blue tits nesting opposite my window and the toads laying their ropes in the ponds, the future of Europe and the American election, for example, are meaningless as they do what they have done instinctively for thousands of generations, in the same way and at the same time.
It may be, too, that my pleasure in this Spring is because I am so aware that, despite the apparent timelessness of the continuity of nature around me, all of nature everywhere is threatened by the risks brought about by conflict and desire – by our careless activities and desire for instant gratification. Climate change is a part of it, but our inability to see the importance of balancing our needs with those of the Planet is a bigger factor. We have done great damage to out world, and history will show this to be so.
I am most fortunate in living in a rural area of great beauty, where wildlife flourishes. Even here, there is concern among some of us about the impact of bureaucracy on the natural landscape, (where ancient trees are cut down for fear of health and safety litigation), where air pollution is increasing and where, for example, sometimes superfluous building work is allowed for economic reasons only. Despite this, I am grateful that on the whole the Welsh Assembly does more than other parts of the UK to maintain its key assets – the land, the mountains, the waters and all the other natural life that is here. How considerate of nature are the legislators where you live, I wonder?
So, today, as Spring displays herself perfectly, I give thanks for the environment that is around me in the hope that it will continue to flourish long after I am gone, though I am aware that change is constant and inevitable, and that nature, when allowed, adapts well to change. I will continue to support her as best I can through the seasons, as many other people who care about these matters will, too.
It would be wonderful to think you understand what I am saying and may even play your part to help too, wherever you are in the world. It is not too late to put up a nest box……..