We are taking a few days down time at the moment, staying in the New Forest. It is a very beautiful, wild place. We have taken several long walks through the woods and I have certainly felt better for it. The air is lighter and fresher here. At times I feel I walk a little taller, the muscles in my back are not so tense.
When I manage to get out of the city and into the countryside I am frequently shocked into remembering how vividly beautiful the UK countryside is. It is spring at the moment and we have encountered blubell carpets and the fresh green shoots of new growth all around us. I often feel, when out and about in our vibrant green spaces, that many people from the UK who travel long distances to find exotic wild locations are missing out on the wild places that are much closer to home.
But we have also encountered patches of land where the trees are dying. The forest is undergoing wetter winters and dryer summers, and the natural soil microcosm is becoming unbalanced, leading to the roots of many trees rotting in the soil. The change in soil conditions is probably an consequence of climate change.
Here is another reason I am so disappointed with the moral leadership of our current generation of politicians. We have known for quite some time there is much work to be done to protect our beautiful wild places, from cleaning up polution, and carefully assessing the impact of various pesticides on the soil, through to the Enormous task of planning and taking action over climate change. But while there are many organisations working hard to tackle these problems, our politicians appear to take a ‘profit now, some one else can clean up the mess later’ attitude. This is a peculiarly selfish and short sighted approach, which burdens generations to come with a vastly depleted natural environment, and the loss of those wonderful British wild places.