Up mountains, through glens, past waterfalls, over marshes to see the orchids and dipper.
We continued our journey through wondrous Scotland. The sun shone. Castles and flowers gleamed in the sunlight. There were beautiful lochs. We climbed up into the hills to revel in the wonder.
It is fabulous to get out into the outback, to the beaches, around the lake and see the wildlife. Black swans, herons and kookaburras.
After poodling around on the beach and heading into the outback on dusty trails we headed up into the rainforest to catch some magnificent trees.
I have been so privileged to see so much of this incredible world. Nature is awe-inspiring.
It was an amazing sight to see the adult birds feeding their young, to see such great numbers of birds and be able to get so close to them. Quite an experience. As a biologist it was like being in wonderland.
This is a worse crisis than Coronavirus or Global warming.
It comes as no surprise to me that this is the case. In my lifetime I have witnessed the crashes in population both here in the UK and abroad. As a biologist, and naturalist, I have found this incredibly distressing.
In the UK the creatures that were common in my childhood – the toads, frogs, newts, hedgehogs, slowworms, snakes and lizards – are now rare. The streams are devoid of life. The insects and butterflies are not buzzing around. The skies are not full of flocks of swallows and swifts.
In the Amazon the rainforest burns. In Africa, the chimps, bonobos and gorillas are being hunted to extinction. Everywhere I have travelled – Australia, Africa, South America, China, Phillipines, Borneo, Vietnam – it is the same story – deforestation and the destruction of habitat – a burgeoning human population – overfishing and hunting.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. We are systematically destroying our planet.
massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe.
Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”
In the UK it is relentless – every tree cut down, hedgerow ripped up, stream culverted, ponds filled in, is another nail in the coffin. The mowing of verges, the spraying of fields. It is almost as if we hate nature.
Abroad they are chopping rainforest for agriculture. There are no places left for the gorillas, the orangutan, elephants or tigers. If they dare to ‘encroach’ they are killed.
I am told that people have to eat, to feed their children. The truth is that there are too many children.
Nature is our lifeline. It provides our atmosphere. We are part of a complex web that feeds the soil, pollinates our crops, gives us the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat – yet we are destroying it.
In the process, we are releasing pandemics and herding ourselves into cities and plastic environments.
We are endangering our own survival on the planet!
WE HAVE TO STOP!!!!
Back in 1964 music was the currency. It was what we all talked about. There were no independent radio stations and only two TV stations so we all watched and listened to the same things. Radio Luxembourg was the only source of anything different and that phased in and out.
I used to listen to a lot of bands that did not quite make it into the charts. There were some crackin’ bands and superb tracks. They were hard to track down back then.
These were some of my favourites.
Birds – Leaving Here
The first bands that I saw live – Ron Wood (of the Faces and Stones) on guitar. They blew me away. This single captured a little bit of that excitement.
The Others – Oh Yeah
The Others released this great Bo Diddley cover that I thought was great.
Paramounts – Poison Ivy
The Paramounts did this great version of the Coaster classic Poison Ivy. It was a minor hit. They went on to become Procol Harum.
Measles – Casting my spell
I thought this should have been massive. Radio London plugged it like mad and I loved it. The track Casting My Spell was later recorded by the Pirates.
Undertakers – Just a little bit
They did an amazing version of the Rosco Gordon number Just a Little bit and would tour around in a hearse and wear Top Hats and tails.
Screaming Lord Sutch – I’m a hog for you baby
Screaming Lord Sutch was amazing. He had the longest hair of anyone! I remember him doing this on TV with a Top Hat on and lifting it up to let all his hair fall down. The band had loads of great people in it –
Bo Street Runners – I’m a Bo Street Runner
I saw them on Ready Steady Go and thought they were wild – a raw version of the Stones. Loved the harp. They were great featuring Mick Fleetwood and Mike Patto
If you fancy reading some of my books on Rock Music try these: