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Back to the blog!

Phew, elections are over and I’m back to being ‘apolitical’: ie I don’t care who is in charge as long as they prioritise urgent action on avoiding further climate and ecological catastrophe whilst helping our residents adapt to a future where weather, food systems, etc are less dependable. I (predictably) stood as a Green candidate, but I am still glad that Jeremy Nettle and Tom Corbin are re-elected. From different sides of the political spectrum, they have both been supporters of action on climate change (and I’m sure there are others – I just don’t know them yet!).

On the ‘Home front’ it has been a strange time. Did you have lots of leggy plants in windowsills, greenhouses and polytunnels, anxiously watching the mercury for signs that night-time frosts are over and we could all plant out? I do feel sorry for farmers who may have lost crops and no doubt our local markets will reflect this later in the year. I understand one reason for the cold weather has been the fluctuating Gulfstream, pushed south and weakened by glacier and ice melt in the Arctic Circle, allowing the rush of arctic air down from polar regions.

Meanwhile, there is a vast expanse of gravel driveway and parking area out the front of my house with a towering Beech tree, beneath which previous householders resorted to annual relaying of turf. I left the whole thing out of the zoning plan as I dithered over what to do with it. I’m delighted to say that it has made its own decision to become a somewhat mixed woodland. I’ve spotted cherry, yew, holly, ash and possibly a few birch seedlings (see pic), as well as plenty of buddleia. So far the only management has been picking up excess dry leaves in the warmer week we had last month (when insects had hopefully emerged) and endlessly pulling up millions of sycamore seedlings. More intervention may possibly be needed once we can no longer get down the drive, which leads to my next item……

Giving up my safety blanket; aka my safari buddy, bijou residence, camping companion and all-round adventure partner: my trusty Subaru. The only new car I have owned and certainly the only one I ever purposely bought, I shipped it all the way to England from Uganda. So much for my green credentials!

It has finally come time to wean myself off this admittedly rather glamorous metal exoskeleton and park it permanently. Or so I thought (and I’ve been trying for the best part of a year to do this), but on intense lobbying from certain activist friends as well as family, I

have agreed to a stay of execution with a strictish set of rules:

  1. The car can be used for transportation of protest related goods, volunteering or gardening supplies that would otherwise require the hire of a van.

  2. It can also be used as a people carrier (for a minimum of 3 people, which is at least somewhat efficient), providing they are up to no good.

All other trips are strictly forbidden and

any sneaky single-person use, or use for ‘mundane tasks’ will attract a self-imposed fine (I am toying with setting it at £20, or enough to be a disincentive even when it is tipping down outside) to be paid to a suitable local rewilding, tree planting, or conservation agriculture project. I’m planning to take a look at a couple of early contenders next week. Let me know if you know of any deserving causes out there.

So if you do see me out and about and suspect I am breaking my own rules, feel free to call me out and make sure I’ve paid my dues.

And do write in - I am really interested to hear how you are all doing your bit to combat climate and ecological collapse, so please do tell us any good ideas. You can leave a comment on this blog post by scrolling to the bottom of the page or alternatively email your response to

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