COP26 has provided some good news, which gives hope. There is more to be done: all have a vital part to play.
In a local wood the sun piercing through the trees lights up the autumn leaves. I pause walking for a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds. In no more than a couple of breaths I spot a magpie, a woodpigeon, a greater spotted woodpecker, a blue tit and two grey squirrels chasing one another. A brief magic moment, raising the spirits. A wonderful reminder that conservation is not only essential to the natural world, but to us as well, in many ways. Then a sharper thought, do I want my grandchildren to be able enjoy the value of such a moment when they too are grandparents? Which brings home the truth. There is a disconnect between the way I live and the way I should live if such moments are to remain possible. To use the jargon, my carbon footprint has to be greatly reduced, but the will to do it is weak.
This is not only true for me, but for most of us as a nation. There is a natural reluctance to change our way of life. And the figures often published for carbon emissions obscure more than they reveal. (For example, by importing goods we in effect export the CO2 produced in their manufacture and importation, so it is not shown in our figures. The CO2 caused by warfare is not counted at all ). Changing the small things is easy for most of us, such as switching off lights when not needed, turning the heating down, not wasting food, but bigger changes, such as walking, cycling or using public transport rather than the car, are more demanding. It is quite extraordinary that the super rich are allowed to promote unnecessary travel to the edge of space, generating greenhouse gasses, when we know how damaging it is. They do it because they can afford it. But then, what do I do which is damaging because I can afford it?
The work party met on 6th November at Hurston Warren to clear the heathland SSSI of invasive birch trees from the heathland. The team armed with tree poppers, courtesy of the RSPB, cleared a large area of young trees. The volunteers were greatly encouraged by seeing heather growing back on the area cleared in previous years.
We meet next at 10.30am on 8th January at Riverside Walk to clear the banks and stream between Love Lane bridge (where we meet) and Fryern Dell. All are welcome to join us.
For information about this and our other activities, or on becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website www.storringtonconservation.org.uk/.
An environmentally rewarding New Year to all.