Some musings on Consolation and Desolation in the world of Conservation
First up, have to say it has rained very merrily since my last (very recent) post. And also have to say that so fixed was I on the MayDay MayDay theme that I missed the fact the 1st of the month has also fallen on the New Moon – the perfect planting time for new seeds! Now it’s even a bit warmer things are looking like really growing. Phew.
However, a bit of decrying, being it calling out injustices and corruption, especially at local government level, has never been wrong. Until now. At national level, it is now apparently even a crime – to protest – especially if loudly. And journalists could be imprisoned for 14 years for ’embarrassing’ the government (with the truth, inconvenient or otherwise?). Worst aspect of this, from where I’m sitting? Not only that we are looking at a more and more and more fashistic (sp???) style of Tory governance, designed to ensure their longevity of power (which really does need shifting). But also, charities are going to find it harder and harder to protest and protect wildlife, our green spaces, ancient woodlands and all places especially after Lockdown that we find sacred.
Terrifyingly, no protected SSI (site of special scientific interest) Nature Reserve, Natural parkland is actually sanctified – or safe from the developers long and greedy arms. They only have to ‘prove’ however spuriously that Biodiversity Net Gain ( for example where they replace Ancient woodland by definition 400 years old with new hedgelings and saplings which will take 20 years to establish any kind of valuable ecosystem, let alone shelter) is achievable. They only have to engage unscrupulously bought off ecologists to ‘persuade’ local Tory councils already stacked in development’s favour…This is not the stuff of nightmares. It is already happening.
Be careful how you vote.
This fearful decrying however, what does it bring, except a sense of hopelessness and utter desolation? – To use part of the phrase first coined by St Ignatius with his principles of Consolation and Desolation, that he is thought to have first dreamt up while stuck for a long time in bed after being gravely wounded in the Crusades (I think)…
It is well to be wise, wise as a serpent Jesus is said to have said, when dealing with wrongdoers. Not all wishy washy lets join in with property investments and fossil fuels as our Church of England appears to be doing…I may be wrong of course and would love to stand corrected.
No – Terror and fear and hopelessness are being deliberately struck into our hearts, by these bullying couldn’t give a s..ts Govt Ministers (apart from the turds in the rivers, in order to pay off the denationalised, mostly foreign I have to say Water companies who are gaily clogging up and killing off our waterways and river life.)
So – saying NO to desolation is quite important.
Not least because saying YES to more hopeful outcomes, where together working at ground level yields results, such as saving and rewilding meadowlands, endangered species such as hedgehogs (great Zoom from PTES yesterday with Hedgehog Hugh !) is emboldening and heartening. Good for the soul.
But noticing the desolation we might feel – (that I often feel, at any rate, at the hopelessness of it all) is important. That sense of sheer desperation at the uncaring hypocritical local MPS who are high up in Defra and do NOTHING to stop the poisoning and paralysation of bees from pesticides (neonicotinoids). By big sugar companies like SILVER SPOON who could well afford the research needed into developing LESS harmful applications and completely non-chemical natural ‘pest’ control (such as companion planting methods) if they so chose. If only this government would stop bowing and scraping (and getting their cut no doubt) to and from big business, prioritising profit over ecological gain in a climate and biodiversity crisis. Oh no. But to give in, and stop decrying altogether would be a failure, a shrinking of sorts.
But balancing it with hopefulness, the consoling knowledge that hopeful progress can be made however small at the start, and that it can grow – like the young woman who grew up in a family all just loving hedgehogs, who has now made her career out of championing Hedgehog Friendly Campuses – well! From small acorns – in conjunction with other lovely and super efficient organisations such as British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Hedgehog Street and Society for the Protection of Endangered Species – and hey presto, great oak trees grow! Thousands of students and school children are made more wildlife-aware, many hectares of land are left to rewild – and it’s a huge success story! Something to celebrate, just in time for National Hedgehog Awareness Week – THIS WEEK!
Genuinely heartwarming – to learn how people can come together and act to form societies and groups that really do make a difference….And truly inspiring too…Might have to think on a bit.
In my own life the sense of this achievement happening out there, being achieved by others is just a little, well annoying!!! If I’m going to be completely honest. No point not. Not yet having found a way to unite with others to get the best possible results, far better than I could ever hope to achieve in my own little wildlife garden. Even if this little plot acts as a little bit of a biodiversity oasis, I can’t tell quite for what wildlife exactly. But I know sharing and recording my finds with others of moths and caterpillars is important to me…exciting even.Just as I’m very aware that I’d love to be part of a wider team, all working towards the same goals of rewilding habitats and helping wild animals thrive again, like they used to. And this could be the spur – to get on with helping create and nurture wildlife friendly neighbourhoods (not just my back yard).
It’s that thing where Giving is Getting – Giving time, energy resources, encouragement mean that’s what you get in return. Plus that amazing sense of joint achievement – for me so far always just out of reach!! Giving is in a sense Living, living to the full. Not quite there yet, speaking for myself. It is part of that amazingness of being human, cooperating for the greater good that in conservation terms I can only dream of. Sharing the vision of Nature Connectedness where all people can feel close to – or part of, rather – the natural world and therefore feel like actually protecting it (rather than selling it off like these blasted tories)
I’m still at the stage of sharing ideas, on these themes, with great friends, and family, Godchildren and anyone who’ll listen and join in, plus with those who are just way ahead of me (the experts, fundraisers, Moth Counters, heroes, visionaries, the people who are actually engaging with governance in a meaningful way – The Wild Countryside Link for example who have brought about the Nature Bill)….
For now I’ll keep working away at it. Supporting and giving a little bit to those who can make a big difference, waiting my turn perhaps or just musing on what makes my heart sing like the birds, and what doesn’t so much. That’s really helpful knowledge, after all…