A few months ago I was dismayed to hear someone on the television, allegedly a wildlife expert, say “I hate grey squirrels” and then proceed to character assassinate this creature who never asked to be introduced to this country and is just trying its best to survive like the rest of us. It is not evil. The problem is that it is more adept at living, reproducing and therefore colonising this land than our native Red Squirrel. Unfortunately. It may be an anathema to our fauna, and often to gardeners, but to “hate” is emotive and counter-productive. This is especially true when espoused by someone who should know better and has a fair amount of influence.
I spent a large enough proportion of today digging Spanish bluebells out of Max’s garden. Much has been written about this interloper, often snarling, bitter texts. There have been those who defend this Iberian import, but mainly the reviews are toxic. Unfair perhaps. True they are thuggish compared to our natives and hybridise at the drop of a hat, a very real threat. But I don’t hate them, even though I have ached my back removing them today. They are just doing what they are programmed to do. Yet again another problem caused by the “oh so clever” humans.
After work, actually a little before “after work”, Max’s Dad asked if I would like to go for a walk in the woods. How could I refuse? So we did. As you do. And I am very glad I did. It reminded me how much I love this habitat. We need to protect it.
Sumptuous carpets of bluebells:
Interspersed with orchids:
And nature’s sculpture:
It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.