We need more positivity.


Lapwings in Kent: A good news story.

It is hard to be positive about nature when everything seems so bleak.

Here in the South East of England I find that some days the only way to stay happy is to get through the day with blinkers on. Drive through a pretty Kentish village, ignore the mini red brick city springing up on its fringes and instead focus on the golden light of autumn leaves. Ignore that you have been stuck in yet another traffic jam for an hour and marvel at the spindled beauty of winter twigs against a marbled sky. Look at the good news story not the bad.

Some people are the opposite. Some people just want to focus on the negatives, declare the world black and that we shouldn’t even try to change things. This kind of defeatist attitude just swallows up hope and effort and good will.

Here in North Kent we are being overwhelmed with ugly housing estates and traffic but we also have some fabulous farmers who are working their socks off to improve their land for waders. Yes, because they are paid by the government to do so but also, I truly believe, because they want to see lapwings plummeting over their fields almost as much as I do. Because lapwing flight brings joy and, together we are helping to spread that joy to more and more land in Kent. This is good news.

I stand by rivers and see the trout run down gravel streams and sometimes I find it hard that I am not able to do more to reconnect those streams with their flood plains but I also have to remember that this stream is on the edge of a city that once supported a tannery industry that polluted the rivers to the point that no fish ventured there.

I have to remember that once the sheep grazing the fields would have been dipped in chemicals so powerful that they would linger in the food chain and kill off otters. I have to remember that I have heard a rumour that otters are hunting the shallow just downstream again.

I have to remember that we are in a battle to protect the wildlife of our country and in battle there is no room for defeatism.



4 thoughts on “We need more positivity.

  1. What a lovely piece. Very evocative.

    Sometimes the world is to busy trying to get to tomorrow they forget about today and the now. As for the day before that has been forgotten totally.

    Yet, as I pause from doing a bit of gardening I sit watching Blue Tits, Goldfinches, Sparrows, Starlings and Collared Doves and a lone Robin enjoy the food I supply. I observe, learn and enjoy the moment and allow my mind to rest. Some may call this a form of mindfulness, I call it a nature nap.

    My daily dog walks around local fishing lakes near the busy Dartford Crossing gives me the chance to see how nature is getting ready for winter. I glimpse a fox cub that looks so healthy and happy as it lurks under a bush watching us watching him or her. I hear and the catch a glimpse of a Cetti’s Warbler, such joy to see one as they are screative birds often heard rarely seen. I say hello to a fisherman and carry on.

    At the coffee shop it is busy, noisy and people fly in and out with Latte’s and Espresso’s in take out cups that will never be recycled. Serviettes flutter away in the breeze, discarded without a care for where and what happens to them.

    I drink my Coffee and sit and watch and recall the lovely walk I have just had, the ever changing nature and the pleasure it brings to me and my heart.

    In the meantime the interest rate has risen, Gravesham Council talk about potentially building on Green Belt Land for more housing, people are still stuck in traffic, shops are manic with shoppers getting enough food for a month in case there is a outbreak of bad weather that may stop them going out for a day or two which will never happen. But I guess for some it’s better to be prepared for tomorrow and today will be a distant memory for many by the end of the day.

    As for me the mantra “Keep Calm And Carry On” is spot on. I will keep an eye on my local Nature, taking things as they come along and thinking life is good if you just stop and watch it for a few minutes. Lovely.

    • Thanks Richard for your lovely thoughtful reply. You are quite right it is easy to look at the big bad things and forget all the moments of happiness and pleasure in each day.

  2. When the news cycle, the Twitter timeline, the barrage of emails all get too much, too frustrating, too ‘noisy,’ the only resort is to step outside, breathe, listen, watch. That way sanity lies, and hope. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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