(The Parishioner will not have a full May edition so here's the WildCookham item that would have appeared)
For the first time in a generation people living in northern India can see the Himalayas – at least one good thing to come out of the terrible virus that has turned all our lives upside down and brought an early tragic end for so many. The global lockdown has brought economic activity and indeed most human movement to a standstill and the impact on our environment has been dramatic. Cleaner air, free from the pollutants that our normal man-made activities generate, is being noted by all of us: clearer night skies, easier breathing in towns, everywhere quieter. And we’re noticing nature more: is there more nature to notice or is it just that we have more time to notice it? The point is that it has taken a crisis of such dimensions as this one to get us talking about our natural world and the difference we experience when the pollutants are removed.
But will we care enough to ensure that we don’t throw it all away when the lockdown comes to an end? Global economic growth has brought undeniable benefits to so many people around the world but at what cost? Will we simply revert to our old ways as we scramble to restore the jobs and livelihoods we are losing? Or will we use this ‘breathing space ‘ to challenge some of the assumptions that underlie the growth - and come together as communities to demand that our natural world is the only one we have and that it must be protected – and restored – at all costs?
The lockdown is having another good impact: our gardens are getting more attention than ever. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get involved in Cookham’s Wild About Gardens Awards: we have loads of ideas for your garden (and for the family) to make it more wildlife-friendly. And we’ll be encouraging people to use the time to learn more about our wildlife. Check out www.wildcookham.org.uk and our Facebook page, and get involved! That way we can all come out of this crisis more aware and better informed about the world of which we really are a part.