Sunday 13 February 2011


Shan Oakes
Swift Conservation - - Keeping the Skies Alive! I've been very worried about the drop in numbers of swifts and delighted to find this site. They advise on things like how to make your roof better for swifts to nest in.
Swift Conservation Homepage

Friday 11 February 2011


I'm feeling highly frustrated. Why can't everyone see the appalling mess the world is in due to unleashed corporations and greed? Its no good saying 'Oh well its always been the same'. Humans ARE capable of change, and the need is so blatant we should be working together for change.

'More for Less' - this was the title of last Tuesday's conference at Bishop Burton Agricultural College. The presentations ranged from the excellent(how farming can contribute to the general good) to the grotesque (the proposed Nocton cow factory). The college should be congratulated on running this public conference to showcase these varying points of view.

Graham Stuart, Tory MP for Beverley and Holderness, spoke first and demonstrated his complete lack of understanding of the need to develop a vibrant local economy in the face of peak oil. His vision is severely limited - to yet more corporate power, 'competition', and 'growth': more of the very things which are leading to war, job loss, disease, species extinction, empty seas, poverty, climate change and so on. I was not the only one aghast at his myopic view. He repeats the mantra of 'less government' without seeing the need for a review of our collective values. He has a background in running a small business, but he needs now, as does his party, to get to grips with the bigger picture. The two 'slick and dirty' presentations were promotions for genetic modification and animal concentration camps, but the others were about how to diversify, think differently and add value and were fascinating.

At the end I met a student whose family has farmed in East Yorkshire for 4 generations - and it was his enthusiasm and the local connection which will remain with me the longest.