Trying to say something sensible

Yesterday was a very difficult day and one that I thought would never come. I was lost for words and I’m speechless. I need time to reflect – I need time to absorb and then respond and I am not there yet.

I have spent my entire working career campaigning for wildlife and coming up with ideas which will make things better for the natural world. I was involved as a minor player in helping bring in the European Directives to protect wildlife, birds, the seas, water and the air. Now it looks like all those battles will have to be fought again against the Neo–liberal elite who hate such restrictions. I am a member of the ‘green blob’.

I spent several years helping NGOs in Latvia acclimatize and prepare for joining the EU – happy days and oh the irony now.

My step son is 21, his mother (my late wife) died approaching 6 years ago. Her mother was German and her father was English and he now lives in Scotland. My step son’s father is Australian. We live in a multicultural world.

This is how the Referendum voting split by age – my generation and the one beyond have shafted my step son’s one ….

(YouGov poll)
18-24: 75% Remain
25-49: 56% Remain
50-64: 44% Remain
65+: 39% Remain

On Wednesday I received an offer from the University of Exeter to study a PhD on the politics of the Dartmoor Commons (self funded) – an exploration of why it has proven so difficult to merge farming with environmental matters. As a result of the Referendum this will now have to be severely re-drafted! Unless Dartmoor farmers and those elsewhere in the uplands are supported it will be ‘game over’ for them.

Approximately 50% of the Electorate share at least some of my views and 50% appear not to.

This is a time for reflection which in my case at least will lead to a strategy and a plan. Give me some time and I will share it with you to see what you think.

In the meantime here are a few moths – wildlife keeps me sane and it hope it does you too.

Blood vein
The Blood Vein – perhaps inappropriate?

Ingrailed clayThe Ingrailed Clay – rather dull perhaps but important nevertheless.

Scalloped hazelThe Scalloped Hazel

True Lover's knotThe True Lover’s Knot – a message for the future?

16 thoughts on “Trying to say something sensible

  1. I really enjoy your blog and we love Dartmoor. I share your views completely. The leave voters have been sold a lie. They have no idea what the ramifications will be. The economy has been wrecked in a day, and the younger generation will pay a massive price. I fear for our wildlife. But please keep up the good work, it’s people like you who are passionate about wildlife who can really help navigate through this mess and work to maintain everything that has been achieved in conservation. Good luck.

  2. I have followed your blog your blog for a long time. I share your dismay at what was worked so hard for we now stand to lose. Please let it not happen.

  3. Thank you. That is exactly how I feel. Battered, bruised and disbelieving. I went to look at the sea for a while. The pull of the backwash on the pebbles helped. Big skies helped. The greens and blues in nature gave me calm.

  4. Hello Adrian. Two comments. The first is that at a moment like this, with the shock of the referendum washing over us, one can feel horribly beleaguered and alone. So it is important to keep strongly in mind that we are not alone, there are heaps of likeminded people out there, even if we tend not to be the ones who shout so loudly and aggressively. Things like this blog and a thousand other places are individually small but collectively vital ways of bringing people together, against the forces of division. So please keep your chin up. You are part of making things better.

    Second, in relation to the core concerns of this blog, a massive consequence of leaving the EU is going to be how it plays out for farming. Farming in general and perhaps upland farming in particular are utterly reliant on money that has come from the EU for decades. Leave spent their campaign assuring us that funding levels would be kept – and already on Friday have begun rowing back on these claims. There may be stormy economic times ahead and a right-wing government desperately looking for spending to cut. The consequences for upland farming and how that affects the landscape may be profound.

    Voices such as yours will be amazingly important in the coming time which may be at least as profound as anything we’ve yet lived through. There is much work to be done.

    Apologies for a very long post. Best wishes to you – C

  5. Shell-shocked here as well. We need lots of good informed voices on the environment going forward so looking forward to reading your next plan!
    Hoping that most things stay the same and thinking my previous colleagues in law are the only people who will be making a packet out of this mess.

  6. Dreadful day and a totally unnecessary vote. A power struggle within the Tory party & a reckless gamble by Cameron. I’m always amazed by the Vote Leave placards and UKIP posters in farmer’s fields around here on the edge of Dartmoor.. Where do they think the subsidies are going to come from now?

  7. All the best for your Phd. While studying for your Masters you turned me (an oldie who voted to remain) into a ‘green blob’! Keep up the good work, it is so needed.

  8. I am saddened and depressed by how the UK voted on remaining in the EU. Why did they put it to a vote in the first place? I am scared for the future of the US too. The world is falling apart. I was watching a history program about the Greeks and how the Minoan civilization collapsed as a result of the widening gap between poor and rich. As more morons rule our civilization as we know it will fail. I probably will not live to see it happen. I pity our children. We must try to fight on.

  9. I am not sure why there is this extreme pessimism.
    Dartmoor National Park was created in 1951 – before even I was born, and long before the EU was created..
    When I was young and living in London my father would point out areas of the newly created Green Belt and say, with pride, how this could never be built upon. Again in days long before we were in the EU.
    In recent times, we have heard how development in the Green Belt is going on apace, and how planning restrictions may need to be relaxed in the National Parks.
    So we did some environmentally sound things before the EU, and the EU has not prevented some environmentally unsound things from taking place.
    Many environmentally sound things that have taken place in the last 40 years may well have happened regardless of whether the EU existed or not.
    There are many cases where the EU has failed – eg preventing the mass killing of migrating birds in Malta – and some cases where possibly the EU makes things worse – eg allowing Spanish fishing trawlers to deplete what would otherwise be British fish stocks.
    So maybe there are some bad things about leaving the EU, but there are some good things as well.

  10. Well put Adrian. I too have spent my career pursuing ecological goals and am going having to do some serious thinking about the future following this result. All my colleagues in ecology consultancy are extremely worried about how this will affect their careers and probably more importantly, what the implications are for the environment they love. A sad day indeed.

  11. Suggest we all sign the government petition (currently signed by over 2 million) asking for a debate
    “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.”


  12. Pingback: The birds still sing | CampaignerKate

  13. I feel your pain Adrian but your blog is a little beacon of light for me and usually one of the last things I read before I go to sleep. Take care and keep your chin up.

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