Tag Archives: conservation

Let it Be

Earlier today, I went for a walk with a friend in Spa Wood, (a woodland which is just a short stroll from my home).

My friend had not seen the woods since 2019 and remarked that the canopy was not as thick as was previously the case. She also noted, with regret that a number of trees had succumbed to the axe.

A number of trees (including holly) have been removed, the reason given being that the conservationists wish to return the wood (so far as is possible) to it’s traditional state, in which trees such as the great oak held sway.

Whilst I understand the perspective of the conservationists, I liked the wood as it was prior to the clearance of holly and other plants which where not part of the original forest. Whilst the woods still contain a delightful blend of light and shade, the dark heart is not as dark as was previously the case, and that I regret.

I am, by temprament a Conservative. I like the familiar, whether that be my favourite local pub with its open fire, or the woodland close to my home. That which exists gives me pleasure and I am one of those individuals who, when someone advocates a change requires to be convinced of it’s necessity.

Of course some might argue that my Conservative disposition should incline me to support the restoration of the woods as they were in the past. However there is a difference between the Reactionary and the Conservative. Whilst the Reactionary wants to return to some “golden age”, the Conservative is inclined to revel in the enjoyment of what exists rather than to wish to put the clock back to some former time.

The person of a Conservative frame of mind does value institutions, tradition etc for they have stood the test of time which demonstrates to him that they possess value and, as such they inspire loyalty.

Given my Conservative disposition, I wish to preserve the beautiful old oaks. However I also relished the variety provided by the (now largely removed) holly.

My friend (who is no Conservative in the political sense of the word) feels the same as me, as regards the woodland, which goes to show that conservatism (with a small c) is an important component of the human condition.

Some time back I wrote “A Dialogue”, which does, I think touch on some of the issues outlined above:

There is a frame of mind
That says “leave as you find.
Let the great Oak alone
And spare the ancient stone
For they serve a purpose
If one looks beneath the surface
Of things”.
Others bring
To bare a mind
Which no beauty doth find
In oak and stone
“For they stand in the way
Of a brighter day”.
“But if you pull the tree down
What then supports the ground?
For the roots go deep
And people weep
When the oak falls
On ancient halls”.
“Let us wield the axe and be glad
For the old ways are bad.
New seed we will sow
The past must go”.
They are arguing still
As the sun sinks
O’er vale and hill.

“A Dialogue” can be found in “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”, which is available here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AF5EPVY/

Sofa

Incongruous you stood,
A sofa in my local wood.
You belong in a living room
But as some poisonous mushroom
You despoil the grace
Of nature’s face.

No point to shout
About a litter lout,
For if you did hear
I fear
That you would not listen.

The glisten
of morning dew
Means nothing to you,
Who would rather view TV,
Than stare at bird or tree.

Doubtless you own a state-of-the-art television
(And a new settee).
Yet you lack the vision
To see
Beyond the dancing screen
To yonder wood,
Where the air is good
And fox and squirrel are oft times seen.

There Is A Kind Of Conservatism

There is a kind of conservatism that has little or nought to do
With politics, but which runs through
Many a man, who will say
“I like it this way
For it has always been so.
I know
That the horizon seems bright,
But there is pleasure in the scent of these roses
Here and now in this night garden.
Other posies
May brighten some dreamed of day
But here I would stay
Surrounded by these well trodden garden paths
And the laughter of friends
Who are ends in themselves.

Such a man weeps to see
The ancient tree
Cut down, for it is more than a mere tree,
It is he.

Such a one is often inarticulate.
Of an evening late
When others speak of utopia he gazes at the starry sky
And wonders why
These others are not content
With god’s great tent.

Else he takes refuge in books, for the sheer pleasure he derives
From reading, and derides
Those who pour over dreary
Theory and take pride in attacking every institution.
He is inclined to defend the constitution
And although charitable is sceptical of wholesale redistribution.

You will find such a man in every walk
Of life and when you talk
With him he may say
“I am not in the conservative way”
As he strokes the cat, purring by an open fire,
Fulfilling his only desire

Poems Inspired By The Great North Wood

Great North Wood, London, UK

Several of my poems have been inspired by the Great North Wood, one of the remnents of which is some 2-3 minutes walk from my home, http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/great-north-wood. I have spent many hours walking my dogs in Spa Woods, which form part of The Lawns, https://www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/parksatoz/the-lawns.

This afternoon I came across several volunteers from The Great North Wood/The Friends of Spa Woods engaged in conservation. A bonfire was going and invasive plants (laurel introduced in the Victorian era) was in the process of being removed to prevent it from stifling the growth of native flora.

The wonderful thing about The Lawns is that it was left to the local community and it is maintained by volunteers, who do excellent work to ensure that it remains a real oasis, which can be enjoyed by dog walkers and anyone in search of a little peace and tranquillity.

Below are examples of those poems of mine which have been influenced by my proximity to (and connection with) The Great North Wood:

The Path Through The Woods – https://newauthoronline.com/2017/04/03/k-morris-reading-his-poem-the-path-through-the-woods/
Wood In The Rain – https://rhymepoetry.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/wood-in-the-rain/
Owl – https://newauthoronline.com/2016/07/17/owl-2/
An Owl Hunting – https://newauthoronline.com/2016/03/31/an-owl-hunting/

Woodland Glade

A beautiful butterfly
Flutters by
And a gentle breeze
Russles the leaves
Of fine old trees.

Where shadows dance
Couples may see,
By some lucky chance,
The otter wild and free
That dreams
In woodland streams.

Standing on the street
With dusty feet,
They gazed
Amazed
At the museum of yesteryear,
While far and near
Stretched the asphalt drear.