For my Social Media presence (especially my Instagram and Twitter), being an openly gay Broadcaster and a Nature Conservation advocate, I have been nominated for a Diversity Award as a Positive LGBTQ+ Role Model.
A few years ago and around May last year; I visited the Frankley Beeches woodland. I noticed it was being ill-managed and not really being cared for.
I have grown up with this remarkable wood, as my local landmark for 30 years (my entire life), and despite it looking lovely on the outside, it unfortunately is not the same on the inside!
Research concluded that it is the National Trust that haven’t been doing (their job) anything with it for years, and Bromsgrove District Council cannot have cared much either…
When I visited it last, it was in much need of restoration & conservation, within the wood there are dead & damaged trees, plus rubbish & disturbed soil from its careless visitors. The anthropogenic effect on the woodland is very much the same to this day!
I recently did a Tweet, tagging in those who it concerns and may care about the Frankley Beeches, and yesterday (01.09.2020) I visited there and made this video:
Today (02.09.2020) the National Trust in the Midlands got back to me on Twitter:
“…thank you for raising your concerns with us. I’m pleased to hear that you have seen a difference to the site. Unfortunately, like many places, we only have a small team who can complete essential tasks right now but we will make sure to take on your feedback when we update the conservation management plan. We did not put in place the plastic tree guards, but I have let the team at Clent Hills know that they are now littered around…”
So it’s the Clent Team who (are to blame) haven’t been doing anything for years, until fairly recently 🤔 I am pleased they finally replied to me, as a few years ago, I emailed them and was ignored!
Sorry to hear of their small team, thus causing neglect and negative knock-on effects to much cherished places…
For 2017, what I would like is Nature Conservation to be taken more seriously by Councils and the Government. They need to properly see it as a Universal Problem. It is not an issue only for a certain class system, region, gender, sexuality, age or level of education – we all share this country, and caring for nature and our natural environment is everybody’s responsibility. Hopefully Planet Earth II was a wake up call for those that work for a Town / City Council or as an MP who have not signed the Greener UK pledge.
I also hope it has encouraged people to support their local nature conservation charities.
Hearing about woodland / greenbelt being decimated for housing developments (or HS2) angers me – it is disgusting and very ill considered, as there are plenty of derelict buildings and brownfield sites that should be used instead! Urbanisation is not progression, it’s alienation. There is less crime in places with woodland / greenbelt and it reduces stress in people of all ages. They are great for escapism, as they’re somewhere to walk your dog or get fresh air alone or with your partner or friend(s). Such places boost children’s will to learn and they are often more imaginative and creative – it’s somewhere for these children to explore and find wildlife too! It also improves house sales – people want to live near areas surrounded by greenery, because, let’s face it, it is pleasant! Trees, hedgerows and grasses filter impurities from the air and also help lower temperatures during heat-waves. Trees reduce erosion of soil, which finds its way into our waterways during periods of heavy rainfall. This then has the knock on effect of creating flooding because of the build up of silt – due to the lack of trees in the first place. They are also a much needed habitat for nature; plants and animals need somewhere to live and have safe connecting passages between urban sprawls.
Re-wilding our Towns and Cities needs to happen, all over, they should be made greener than they already are, for example Birmingham, it is already a surprisingly green city, but being greener will make it better. I champion Matt Collis and the Avon Wildlife Trust for making Bristol even greener! As you know, more trees are needed to helping fight Climate Change, as they reduce the Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. More trees will increase oxygen and with increased oxygen levels, the health of people and wildlife will benefit. More oxygen in the air can stabilise unknown and potential pulmonary hypertension (raised blood pressure within the pulmonary arteries) and irregular heart rhythms caused by the lack of oxygen in the air. Plus more oxygen to the brain relieves depression and fatigue. Many diseases including cancer, thrive in an oxygen depleted body.
What would I like for myself this New Year? Well, I am currently on a City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Conservation, Countryside & The Environment – ideally I would like to complete my qualification at overall Distinction and would then like to work for a NGO specialising in Re-wilding, therefore assisting in restoring Britain (in urban and rural places too) to its natural glory!
In the past I have achieved several Media Production qualifications, my highest being a Level 5 Higher National Diploma. I have considered a Masters, but Academia isn’t really for me, I would rather be out there getting on with it, or even teaching it! Around 6 years ago I combined my passion for wildlife and filmmaking, and have recently been co-presenting / co-producing a series with Jamie Wyver, about nature conservation for Cambridge TV (now called That’s Cambridge).
The series is entitled The Wild Side and it was broadcast to the city and has been put online for everyone to watch. It would be brilliant if I get the opportunity to present a series with another TV station or even for a channel that broadcasts nationally. I love how imaginative and creative ideas can come to life on screen, to entertain and inform an audience.