The next six weeks are chock full of holidaymakers which is great news. The weather is perfect for picnics, beach visits, boating trips on the river and lounging about in the shade with a good book. The farm shop is doing a great trade in ice-creams. Everything is dreamy…or is it?
Visitors will know all too well that Swallowtail HIll is a conservation site and has been for 30 years. Our wildflower meadows, wet meadow, grassland and coppice woodland mean we are a beacon site for biodiversity. That sounds grand – and in a sense it is – because what we’re trying to do here on a small but not insignificant scale is change the way we treat our planet. Visitors to our farm see the difference that rewilding a landscape has on flora and fauna and they love it, because they’ve never come close to seeing anything like it before. We’re not doing it to be worthy. We’re doing our little bit before it’s too late. And we hope that while guests are holidaying here they instinctively start to understand a little more about why we need to change how we tread on the planet in order to preserve it for future generations.
The fact that guests love to be off-grid and reconnect with the important things in flife (each other – and the outdoors!) is not unrelated. I believe that it’s our increasing distance from nature that has led us to be so neglectful of the planet. I’m talking about every single one of us having a part to play in this, not just pointing the finger at government and big business the world over. Absolutely it’s a given that they need to lead the way – and get a bloody move on about it – but it’s we as consumers that have the power to effect change, far more than we realise. We can’t blame the supermakets and big brands while we continue to be rampant consumers of packaged goods and plastic tat we don’t need. And we can’t expect our children to want to care about the planet if we, as adults show little respect for it through the daily choices we make. I’m not saying making new and susttainable choices is easy. It isn’t, and all too often at the moment the ‘good’ choices are too expensive. But this is where we need to bring pressure to bear.
I’m sure there are some who’ll take offence at this and would prefer their off-grid holiday to come without a leccture. And I’ve written about this before – and as someone who largely relies on ‘good’ weather to make a living – but I make no apologies for regularly getting a bee in my bonnect – the ‘dreamy’ hot weather is a warning sign, and one we ignore at our peril.
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