Rewilding your life – grass-roots changes everyone can make
City-centre pigeons being eaten by the world’s fastest bird; African elephants’ containing the animal kingdom’s largest number of olfactory receptor genes (at nearly 2,000, humans have a mere 400); the UK’s insect biomass reduced by 80% since the 1970s…
Just some of the fascinating subjects tackled by wildlife presenter and author, Nick Baker, at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society lecture in Perth and enjoyed by several Sixth Form Kilgraston pupils.
During the talk, Nick explained the art of rewilding your life: “It needn’t be a huge change,” he implored, “just something as small as leaving your lawn a bit longer or not clearing flower-beds in the autumn.”
Learning how to observe, connect and discover nature for yourself, Nick asked people to reduce their hemisphere and “swap ear buds for bird song and back-lit LEDs for butterflies,”
His enthusiasm for “opening up your sensorium” struck a chord with the girls: “It really made you think about the world around you,” said Katrina, who’s hoping to pursue Marine Biology at university, “some of the statistics were shocking, (the Tiger Moth population has reduced by 98% since the 1970s and red squirrels were a frequent sight as far south as Dorset just 50 years ago) but it’s important to realise that we can make a difference.”
Kilgraston is passionate about environmental matters, championing the banning of single-use plastic and encouraging ‘fast-fashion’ reduction, as recently featured in Independent School Magazine.
The next lecture, when film-maker Calum Maclean discusses the joys (!) of wild swimming in Scotland, will also be attended by pupils from the school.
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