Art of the Wild

Art of the Wild

The Writing of Steve Deeley

Restoration to excess may be no help at all

“Biodiversity gain” is the latest buzzword in Government conservation policy. The new Environment Bill has the very laudable goal of trying to ensure that habitat loss is matched by habitat gain to excess elsewhere. It’s a clever idea, one that is aimed at helping to ensure the restoration of Britain’s deeply impoverished fauna and flora. ... Read more


Time to raise Capital (s)

Whether or not rules of language matter is open to debate. Some, like lawyers, doctors and priests, will probably tell you that accuracy and stability in language is important. There’s some merit in that: you don’t want your surgeon whipping out this bit instead of that bit because someone forgot to update his textbook. But ... Read more


A tropical holiday during lockdown

It’s just after dawn on a freezing cold April morning, and at the side of the track I’m standing on,  the flailed edge of a grove of coppiced hazel has formed a deep, jumbled jackstraw layer of faded brown stems and splintered sticks. It’s a common sight in nature reserves at this time of year, ... Read more


rumble in the (kinda) jungle

I know how to make a sound: a groan, an “ooooh”. If I take a roomful of people and say one word, it always happens. Shall we try? Adders See? I spent last Saturday watching adders. These small-to-medium sized snakes are wrongly billed* as Britain’s only venomous snake, but are certainly the only one with ... Read more


And the first shall be last

Yesterday, I heard a cuckoo for the first time this Spring. Which was hardly surprising, because it was sat about fifteen feet away from me at the time. This was no captive bird, however: this was a truly wild bird, newly arrived from Africa. Colin, as he is known, is undoubtedly the UK’s most famous ... Read more


I once was lost but now am found

If you’re trying to remember it, the headline is from the lyrics to the hymn “Amazing Grace”. As a hymn, it extolls the power of restoration. I have a growing discomfort with the nature conservation movement, who all too often equate “conservation” with “management”. Mankind has all but eradicated many species from this country, and ... Read more


The danger of complacency

On Friday this week my wife and I went on our usual lockdown walk, following a path along a local stream. It’s a path I must have walked hundreds, if not thousands, of times. It’s easy to become complacent about your local patch, to assume that you have seen all there is to see, to ... Read more


The God of small things

A break in walking and blogging due to the pressures of a family illness and several weeks of interminably grey weather saw me champing at the bit to get out of doors again. Now don’t get me wrong: I like a bit of  bad weather. I’m a fan of the Scandinavian edict that there is ... Read more


A tale of the unexpected

For weeks now, my wife and I have taken to walking every morning before we start work, not so much from a lockdown “permitted daily exercise” perspective as from a lockdown “stomach needs resizing” one. We walk a few different routes, but my favourite is down to our local lake. I like it because if ... Read more


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