Nature Reading Digest #4: Walking through lockdown

Walking Through Lockdown

A few weeks ago, The Guardian ran a surprisingly grumpy piece about walking. The author, it appears, really dislikes just going for a walk without a destination in mind — and has been able to turn that dislike into a lucrative commission.

Now, I miss the pub as much as the next Brit, especially after a long walk. I can't believe that it's been over a year now since Iris and I enjoyed a nice pub lunch after a morning at Nature Tots.

But, on the other hand, circular walks for their own sake have been a life (and mental health) saver through the lockdowns. And this piece celebrates people here in Sussex doing just that:

‘Fresh air is medicine’: British ramblers on the joy of their daily walk
Families, friends and dog walkers on the South Downs share the joy of getting out and about

And if you enjoyed that, you'll enjoy a much wider selection of the photographs taken in the series:

Once a day in the South Downs National Park - London-based corporate and documentary photographer with experience in China.
Portraits of households doing their permitted once a day excercise in the South Downs National Park during the corona virus crisis. Photographed by London and occasional Shanghai-based documentary photographer, Jon Browning

Walking Through Lockdown (2)

While writing the above, I accidentally ended up Googling the phrase "Walking through lockdown" (don't ask), and ended up discovering this lovely little video (which has more than a hint of melancholy in it):

Walking the South Downs

To cheer myself up after the downbeat ending to the last video, I found this little capture of the sort of walk I plan on doing once lockdown eases:


Packham on nature's genius

I know that Packham can be a polarising figure: some people absolutely adore him, and others cannot stand him. However, I think both groups would acknowledge both his passion for his subject — and his knowledge of it.

And that's what makes this interview so interesting: it's clear his passion is such he finds it very hards to stay on topic…

Chris Packham: ‘We’re in deep s***. We need science more than ever’ — The Independent
Exclusive: Naturalist and TV presenter’s latest programme Animal Einsteins explores species’ intelligence and holds a critical mirror up to our own kind at a crucial moment in time, writes Harry Cockburn

What happens when we rewild?

Here's an interesting piece from Tim Mackrill of the Roy Dennis Foundation. It's a long way off, but if we succeed in rewilding, does that mean we need to sacrifice our bird feeders?

He suggests we might…

Wilding rewilding - Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation
On the 7th March I set off this morning to walk my usual circuit of the local forest for I find that a long lone walk is the very best for me to wrestle with thoughts and assemble my ideas about nature; to tussle at them and think of where we should be going with the […]

I'm just a wanderin' sea eagle

While we're looking at Roy Dennis's work, here's a really detailed look at how the sea eagles translocated to the Isle of Wight have been exploring over a huge range:

Spring Explorations - Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation
After a prolonged spell of cold and wintry weather, spring is finally in the air. The first Sand Martins have appeared in southern England, and, like at this time last year, the White-tailed Eagles that we released on the Isle of Wight in July 2020 in partnership with Forestry England, are beginning…

Communities against climate change

And, just to finish on a very positive note, here are two hopeful ideas of how the UK can navigate its way towards net zero carbon emissions in the fight against climate change. If lockdowns have taught us anything, it's how important communities are. A community working together, and invested both financially and socially in the outcome, could be a powerful force for change.

Make a third of new onshore green energy community owned to share benefits of net zero transition - IPPR
Thin k tank calls for greater local stewardship of the net zero climate transition with community energy, heating, housing and natural assets Case studies from across the country reveal …
How grassroots schemes across UK are tackling climate crisis
Thinktank calls for more support for local initiatives ranging from heating to flood schemes
Adam Tinworth
The South Coast