Today I was upon the hills with my dog, Bracken, and to my despair I saw that the logging has advanced.
There is far too much of it occuring at once here and the effect upon nature and species populations will be catastrophic. Forced into smaller and smaller habitats disease will quickly spread and competition for food, breeding and space will be heightened causing more loss of populations and even some species of flora and fuana to the area. I have allready seen it happen, Golden Eagles, Badger, Red Squirrel, Pine Marten and Wild Cat chased from the hillsides. It is not just species that we are losing but something deeper as well....
We all have our forms of escapism from reading, movies and games to drugs, alcohol and sex, even sleep and dreaming provides us with escape.
But escapism in nature, in the land offers us something different, unique and all together truly far more healing.
Many of the other forms of escapism act as distraction allowing us to indulge and the potential to ignore other aspects of ourselves, situations and things we do not like therefor we can use these forms of escapism to run away.
How many things are solved by running from them?
Nature however offers us solitude and a non-threatening wat to face the silence and self, a gentle way that gives us the time and space to face ourselves and our problems, to work things out with no pressure, to understand and therefor truly heal.
Yet this is what we are destroying?
The harmony of natural land? Why?
I have not read this from some hippy book or repeating the words of another instead what i am writing comes from my own experiences, my own understanding gained from moments in the wild.
I merely want to share it with you.
Many may say it is a nice idea, the thought of wild places, nature and harmony but it can not work like that, they would say that what we are doing can not change.
But what if it could? What if a happy medium could be found? Are there alternatives to at least change some things?
Yes for thousands of years mankind has to some degree managed the land surrounding us but when does this become overkill? There is a balance that has been off for some time.
At some point the government took the wild places for themselves, places that should belong to nobody or to all, and these were given to the forestry commision who decided it would be in our best interests to plant them with fast-growing, non-native timber tree crops which could then be sold. Why not? No people were using them at the time....
This wood is sold to other placs and well you can see the cycle that develops without me pointing it out.
Such a shame for a area that is reputed to be underpopulated with which you would associate wild places. Dumfries and Galloway is recorded as the most underpopulated county in mainland UK, this may have made bussiness tricky so many farmed or forested or left.
Times however change!
Recently there has been talk of Carlisle Airport opening to the public and major flying destinations meaning a variety of things two things in particular.
There will be a surge of people moving to the area to live and commuting to the likes of London forwork and business. House prices will go up and a variety of bussiness will be more viable in the area and though i do not personally wich to see more people in my land this could be the opportunity to help save it. Political obsession with money could mean that having unappealing scarred countryside covered in timber machinery that can not even be walked through may put people off moving here that dream of moving to countryside.
More importyantly however is tourism.
Tourism to the area will potentially become a larger industry providing funds and we must ask ourselves why people would come here? Certainly not for the nightlife! No. People come here for an ideal of what Scotland is, for the wild and rugged land that is rife with history, stories and nature.
If we live up to that ideal by protecting our nature, our wild places and encouraging knowledge of our history, and we certainly have huge potential here, then the industry can benefit all financially, culturally, in awareness and naturally. Allowing us our income and our "wild" lands.
I have many ideas of how to deal with the land itself but simplified why can we not replant these felled hillsides with our native conifers the Scots Pine? Fast growing and indigenous but also able to withstand the acidity of the soil created by the non natve conifers biodiversity within the area would thrive encouraging the idea of the wild land and less clear felling may not be required on such a grand scale and instead represent more the areas that would have traditionally been cleared by large grazers.
Why can't farm land, most of which is grazing land, be open wood pasture? Spacing out native trees over the fields so animals may graze amidst them will only enrich them, the leaves from the trees providing nutrients to the soil, grass and therefor animals. For these large areas and farms the owner would hold the logging rights to these trees which in turn would increase the value of land.
I ask you why cant we make a difference? Maybe one voice will be shot down in flames by the officials but a shout from a united population can't be ignored! We tell the government, the officials what WE wish for OUR land and they are meant to represent that utilitarian wish. We give them the means and they are meant to get it done! We advise them! They do NOT command us and if enough are united they can not!
And if we were to start this political, environmental fight of inspiration and change then the priode and passion of the fight would not just be mine but instead it would belong to everyone, to you. Even if the fight failed the pride, passion, purpose and undesrtanding would still be yours, the tools to handle anything in life.
When accomplished the sense of achievment would not be mine but that of all those who took action whatever that action be big or small. I can promise you that having fought for something bigger than oneself is selfless and the sense of accomplichment, of having been a part of that is quite simply astounding.
That action can even just be a word, a click or merely a mindset of being open to this idea of change.
I am fortunate that I feel a sense of purpose on all this and all i wish to do is help, to help the land heal, to help people help themselves. I just wish to share with you.
You may laugh, you may abuse, you may get angry or be indiferent but my intentions are good and my words are as honest and passionate as can truly be spoken.
I want to make a difference....
and I would like you to share in that.