Almost the Solstice… just nine more sleeps until the sun turns and starts its journey back to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ve been a little S.A.D. inclined for many years now, although the Devon sea-light and warmer temperatures of my previous five winters has really helped. This year, though, is my first North Yorkshire winter since I came back just before lockdown part one – and whether it’s this very particular year we’ve had, or just the wet and gloominess of November and December I don’t know, but I’ve struggled a little to keep positive some days.
I felt the tug of the downward spiral again this morning when I read about what might be happening at RSPB Minsmere. I visited that vast flagship reserve when I was lucky enough to work for the RSPB before my Devon years and although I enjoy visiting any nature reserve, any size, any time, any place, that trip was a remarkable experience in all of my many remarkable wild experiences – certainly up there in the top five.
Minsmere was on my re-visit list for the grand 2020 Year of British Wildlife I was planning, but of course 2020 had other plans. However, I’m hoping my 2020 might yet be able to happen in 2021, and I’d be devastated to visit Minsmere whilst Sizewell C is being constructed. Though not as devastated as the 6,000 species that make it home will be – as will their acres of protected habitats that will be impacted.
So yes, sitting at the laptop reading that and doing my e-activist work, and glowering at the glowering sky (again) I needed something to help me. And there it was, in my Positive News email. Well, it would be wouldn’t it – that’s why I signed up for it. But this was just such a wonderful reversal of the previous news item I wanted to share it with people…
I have to say first that in terms of the collapse of Arcadia (and similar retail industry problems) I feel for those people who have lost, or are likely to lose, their jobs. I’m sorry for the wider ripples of impact on folk who are connected to those whose employment futures are in the balance. Another whack to the head in a year of whacks to heads. But the demolition of a shopping centre (and the wider questions it raises about our under-used town centre and out-of-town retail parks) bothers me not at all. The possible rewilding of that space by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is one of the most positive pieces of news I’ve read about this year and feels like the direct opposite of so many of those wreck a habitat to build a retail park (or airport runway, or golf course, or road) stories that appear far too frequently. I won’t venture here into HS2 territory… keeping my happy hat on at this moment.
And in other positive news… in my own teeny-weeny habitat of back yard I had my first visit from a goldfinch inspecting the new niger seed feeder (he’s species 14 on my garden bird list) and a frog investigate the not-much-bigger-than-a-washing-up-bowl pond.
The photo is not this year’s Species 14 goldfinch (it didn’t stay long enough – this time) but one from my friend’s house down the road when I visited last January. Just as gorgeous though with their splashes of bright red and yellow among the 50 shades of grey we seem to have been living in for so long…
We’ve heard a lot this year about how contact with nature has helped people and long may it continue to do so. I’m certainly soaring like a bird on the upward spiral after my nature medication this morning. And I’ve not even been outside yet.