30 minutes of uninterrupted dawn chorus Hazel Hill Wood, recorded at the end of March. Hazel Hill is woodland nature reserve and education centre helping frontline staff develop resilience and wellbeing through connection with nature. While people are prevented from visiting the woods during lockdown, the team are working on ways to bring the wood to them during lockdown. Listening suggestions:
For my birthday this week my partner Mary gave me Alistair Humphreys’s inspirational book ‘Microadventures’. According to Humphreys, a microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. Last night I undertook my first mission – to go and sleep under the stars in the garden. As adventures go this reads as really not very challenging at all, but I was surprised by how unorthodox it felt.
We planted a hedge of lavender on our estate to revitalise a barren patch of soil near our front door. This sunny morning, the enthusastic lavender stems were bobbing up and down laden with bees. There must have been between 20 and 30. I went to count, as part of the Great British Bee Count. And so it was that I had conversations with several of my neighbours about bees, and I was depressed by what I heard.
One complemented me on the lavender, but said the only problem with lavender is that it attracts bees.
A second reported hatred for bees, having been repeatedly stung by that very flower bed, before conceding they had been wasps.
The third, having been complementary about the flowers, reported a bee had dive bombed from twenty metres above delibrately to sting him and concluded they must be evil.
I really enjoyed listening to this 99 Percent Invisible podcast called ‘Oyster-tecture‘, which explains how, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the city is developing artificial reefs on which oysters will be seeded. The oyster beds will defend the city from storm swell and large waves. As the podcast explains, 200 years ago, the southern end of Manhatten Island was one of the greatest sources of oysters in the world, and these oyster beds woudl have defended the coastline from storms. The oyster beds disappeared due to overexploitation, but now designers are working on bringing them back to defend the city against the impact of severe weather events.
I liked this article because it reminded me of the importance of looking to nature to find more collaborative ways of tackling some of our infrastructure challenges. It is also a reminded of the positive impact that imaginative design thinking can have a positive impact on people’s lives.