"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Raping nature or finding empathy with nature?

 Every year at this time I get upset by the rape of our hedgerows, as tractors with massive scythes attached drive down the verges hacking at the hedges, reducing their height and/or depth, and causing goodness knows how much carnage at the same time. 

I think of all those animals and birds and even smaller wildlife whose habitats are so brutally and suddenly destroyed with no warning.
 And I think back to when I was a child and the winters on the farm were spent "hedging and ditching." This was the process of clearing the ditches of debris so that the flow of drainage water was maintained away from the fields, and layering the hedges in the old craftsman's way, bending the thin live twigs over horizontally, nicking them at the bend to encourage shooting, and weaving them along the top of the hedge. This over time created hedges that were thick and more than capable of keeping animals in.
 This old skill is still practised on some more enlightened farms, but of course "time is money" these days, and few have the patience and skills required any longer.
The two pictures below show examples of some layering of a young hedge. Not only will the hedge become thick and strong, it will become an excellent home for our nesting song birds, and small mammals.

And the craftsman (or woman) will feel an empathy for nature, impossible to feel by any tractor driver dragging a massive scythe through his hedges.

So very very sad!

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