It’s a very topical subject, the one of man’s relationship with the natural world. How we treat animals, what our relationship is with them, how we respect their habitats and ensure that they have a quality of life equal to ours. We need to remember that the waste from our ‘throwaway society’ has a great impact on where they are living.
Every time you discard a piece of packaging you should consider: is this going into landfill, if I can re-cycle it, how can I do this without increasing my own carbon footprint by doing so, e.g. driving to a recycling collection point. Am I behaving in a totally green and ethical manner.
Max, the fox in the photo, is still proving that fox hunting is alive and well today. He has outwitted the hounds and is about to go to ground in his secret lair in the woods at Clue Hill farm. He knows that it will be safe to lie low here because the land has remained untreated by any artificial fertilizers, or pesticides for over twenty years, it is an organic farm. The permanent pasture is species rich and has an abundance of grasses, clovers and wild flowers, providing delicious grazing for rabbits and deer: both muntjac and fallow. The pheasants, which are bred in Church Wood next door, love to stroll through the long grasses in this wildlife haven, so that they can avoid the men with guns, who frequent their woods at weekends in the shooting season. This, in turn, provides Max with a living larder right on his doorstep. His carbon footprint is zero and he is very generous, infact insistent on adhering to a stict recycling policy. He leaves the carcasses from his prey lying around for the local carrion to enjoy – not just the crows, but also an ever growing population of red kites. Any leftovers are then licked clean by the feral farm cats. This is the positive impact of man’s interaction with nature: by managing grazing and maintaining wide hedgerows and thus wildlife corridors, Clue Hill farm has a sustainable eco system of its own.
What Max must remember is, that not all fields are safe. He respects no boundaries and to the east is the B4011 with its endless stream of motorcycles, cars taking people to work, children to school and trucks with deliveries, all paying little heed to the 50 mph speed restriction, their carbon footprint and the impact they are having on the countryside as they speed by. These are his main predators nowadays, along with the patrolling guards and their dogs on the MOD land to the south. He has to learn how to live in harmony alongside these man-made creations without losing his identity.