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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet


Yesterday in Edale

Edale Country Day, 9 June 2019. Photo: Mark Avery

Yesterday I went to Edale and back. I met some old friends, and made some new ones, and had an interesting day – oh yes, and was called a liar by a gamekeeper. Not a bad day all round.

This is an annual event which basically has the feel of a rather up-market village fete about it.

I watched a skilled man sheer a couple of sheep and remembered that I once sheered a single sheep, slowly and badly, and felt completely knackered afterwards. And who knows how the sheep felt?

And there was ferret racing. No bookmakers and no published form, so not of great interest.

I always have mixed feelings about falconry displays – I don’t really feel that comfortable about captive wildlife (see here for the first in Alick Simmons’s guest blogs on animal exploitation) but the Harris Hawk reminded me of the ones I’ve seen in the wild in Arizona, and indeed in St Pancras and Kings Cross stations, and who wouldn’t thrill to hear the wind in the wings of a Lanner as it sliced through the air a few feet above our heads?

I was quite pleased that I could correctly identify these eight moorland plants (my botany is awful!) and not surprised that I could match the chicks of Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew and Red Grouse to the adults. But I was given a sticker!

There was good home-made food for sale and what looked like good beer too, but I was driving so no beer.

The fell runners ran over the fell – how I wished that … no, I didn’t actually.

And there was this tent with the play on words – remember to be kind to people but also that Kinder Scout was just up the road.

The local school children re-enacted that Kinder mass trespass complete with gamekeepers with sticks!

I’d been invited to the tent by Jeremy Deller, the Turner Prize winning artist (among other things) and the artist responsible for this work…

… and this one …

And my role was to talk about grouse shooting with Stuart Maconie (a reader of this blog – he says – and President of The Ramblers). So here’s Stuart with a mate …

Jarvis Cocker and Stuart Maconie

So Stuart and I had a bit of a chat about grouse shooting and a gamekeeper called me a liar, but this one wasn’t wielding a stick. I quite admired him for having the nerve, and it’s not the first time, but I’ve noticed that the things that I am always said to have lied about are always things that I didn’t actually say and that audiences tend to sit up and show more interest, and more support, for a speaker who clearly has views that are unpopular with those with a vested interest to oppose them.

But Stuart Maconie was lovely so we had our 20 minute chat, I bought a slice of Victoria Sponge for the journey home and once we had left the Peak District National Park we started seeing raptors in the countryside again.


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