Last week I watched yet another programme that left me feeling helpless and depressed. It was about the impact that eating meat is having globally, causing pollution of waterways, devastation of the Amazon rainforest, vast monoculture prairies of soya and corn grown just for animal feed, and even overfishing of fish stocks that a species of penguin relies on to make fish meal, once again for animal feed. The headline on the news that followed was about carbon emissions being way higher than predicted and climbing; and every Sunday evening David Attenborough’s fabulous Seven Worlds, One Planet, highlights the catastrophic impact that humans are having on the planet. It seems to be a time of constant doom and gloom. My stepson and his wife are about to have their first baby; what future will he or she have? My husband and I despair . . .
Then I took a moment or two to think about the day that I’d just had at work . . . at the Great Fen’s Countryside Centre a class of children had been full of excitement, despite a damp, grey rather bleak day; enthusiastic staff rushed in at lunchtime to identify a beetle that the children had found (a wasp beetle).
I saw a muntjac deer stop and stare then leap into undergrowth; saw fieldfares feeding on berries; read about the turf stripping work at Coopers Hill, Beds taking place so the heather will return stronger and healthier attracting more invertebrates; read about grassland management at Woodwalton Marsh, scrub clearance at Warden Hill, Beds all carried out by staff and volunteers to help keep grasslands in good condition to maximise the wildlife that rely on these habitats. I wrote a report about our Youth Ranger schemes in Peterborough and Bedfordshire, helping conserve and monitor the wildlife on our reserves - fantastic to have young people in their teenage years wanting to make a positive difference to their local environment.
Sometimes it’s too easy to forget that there is HOPE, so much good work is going on by the Wildlife Trust in our region, which is achieving really positive results and bring hope - read our annual report.