Duncan spent Saturday attending a conference on Environmental History based at Kielder. The audience was mainly academics in the subject but I and colleagues from partner organisations brought a bit of practitioners’ experience to the event. Kielder is, of course, an interesting place to discuss the history of the environment being in the middle of a large man-made forest and next to a large man-made lake. Topics of discussion included the history of the forest, beaver re-introduction and the type of visitors who make the journey to this remote corner of England. The discussion session was followed by a walk to one of the newest and more controversial sculptures in the forest, a large wooden head, ‘Silvas Capitalis’. We also stopped to look at the Exmoor ponies grazing an important area for wildlife on the banks of Bakethin reservoir (essentially part of the larger Kielder reservoir).
Spring continues to move on at speed. A warm week has brought out bumble bees and butterflies. Plants such as coltsfoot and willow have burst into bloom and we can only hope to see more appear over the next few weeks. The clocks have jumped forward, it’s light until nearly 8pm and the birds are deafening an hour later than they were a day or two ago!