PAUSE FOR THOUGHT: The Woodland Study

Another climb. This time through pleasant woodland, following a river for a little way, and eventually arriving at the top to look over the Vale of Clwyd. What disappointment to be told that this was only a hill, not a mountain. It certainly felt like a mountain to children who live in Norfolk, on a school trip to Wales.

We tried to identify plants and trees. We talked about the different layers of woodland growth and why each layer is different, and how plants and animals have adapted to live in the places that they are found.

We listened to the birds singing and tried to identify them. And, then, right at the top of the hill, we watched a pair of buzzards flying around.

I am not a scientist but I learned from this study that all life forms, from the tiniest to the greatest, plant and animal have adapted their way of life, their feeding habits, their shape, to suit the environment in which they live. And they have found places where it is easy to survive on the back of something else.

Human beings have done that too. They have settled themselves in places where there is good ground for crops, rivers, and river crossings for ease of communication, or places that are easy to defend.  And in their settlements they have created places for trade, education, care in the community and worship.

They have made use of what already exists and adapted it for their purpose.

Too easy, then to have little regard for what does already exist and exploit or destroy it. The planet is in our care. We must care for it.

Pippa Cook