As I sit here watching the Roe deer from my window in a totally wild state, I am only too well aware that they are there because they want to be, just like the badgers, up at the badger sett and the fox that visits regularly.
Nature left to its own devices provides an eco-balance within the countryside which is maintained through flood, through drought, through scorching summers and biting cold winters. An equilibrium is sustained, although looking on as an observer it seems at times a very harsh existence, but the older one gets and the more one sees, nature always has it just about right.
Our own Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would profit more from looking at nature rather than trying to destroy it. The business of massaging figures to suit whatever argument he happens to be into at the time is just not good politics.
There are six species of deer that live in the UK, however, the Roe deer and the Red deer are the two native species of Britain and as I sit here and watch this small herd of Roe deer, how they have evolved through changing farming practises, de-forestation you cannot help but think and admire how amazingly well nature enables them to adapt and the insulting remark from Owen Paterson on how the badgers have move the goal posts, nothing could be further from reality. Yes, for our large mammals, the goal posts are being continually moved, but our icons keep managing to roll with the blows. Their numbers have diminished but they are still here. But when a government massages figures to try and justify the most shambolic, ill-judged, unscientifically backed persecution of one of our greatest icons the badger, the deflated feeling of disappointment overwhelms you.
The Roe deer, the Red deer, the badger, even the good old country fox should all be held up and applauded for they are the wealth of a democracy. A beacon of light to show that it still possible to thrive in amongst an atmosphere of change and oppression.
The badger is an animal very close to my heart, like many other people I am sure, but I cannot help but draw the comparison to the river otter. An animal over many years blamed for depleted fish stocks in our rivers. A culprit for the decline in river and wetland bird numbers. Just as false now as it was then. But the otter in most wild regions of the UK is extinct simply because his face was the right face to blame at the time.
Species decline has been a 19th, 20th and 21st century problem but now the take up of speed in the declines is happening at an unprecedented level. Even in my lifetime I have seen the river meadows which were once covered in lapwing or pee-wits or plovers, whichever name you want to call them go to near none existent numbers. All our species of bees, butterflies, moths, insects and invertebrates. All these things too in decline. The water vole that was once so plentiful throughout the country has almost disappeared, but for me, the most alarming decline is the humble house sparrow. You would see them everywhere. They would follow the corn carts at harvest time, they would be around the gable end of every house. Now to see a group of six is a head turning experience.
Species depletion is a situation which we all find ourselves in worldwide. It should concern everyone, none more so than our own Owen Paterson.
And as I gaze down from my bedroom window onto this small herd of Roe deer I cannot help but to be amazed at the awe inspiring tenacity of the most wondrous being on the planet, Mother Nature. She is fighting on all fronts and although millions of years old, her beauty is so still heart stoppingly sensational. She is hit down time and time again but still rallies to her feet. Constantly taking on all comers, punching above her weight. The earth’s true prize fighter, whose prize when won is given to each and every one of us. Governments come and go worldwide but it is Mother Nature who is always there trying to put wrongs right and to pick up the tab for governments all over the globe with their ongoing short sightedness.
But as you look around worldwide that gorgeous face that is millions of years old is starting to show the odd wrinkle. Each species extinction is a wrinkle that can never be made erased.
It is in every being’s interest to be as gracious and as caring of nature as she tries to be within the world that we all love.
Roe deer outside my bedroom window. Roe deer and Red deer are the only two native species to the British Isles.