The recently released The Lost Words is a beautiful book which was developed following the decision to remove a number of words describing the natural world from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in favour of those deemed more contemporary. The book has rightly met with great acclaim as it seeks to re-engage children with descriptions of the flora and fauna many of us once took for granted. But it also prompts reflection on the loss not only of vocabulary, but also of access to the world which it describes for the increasing population of town and city dwellers. Continue reading
We have had an allotment for the past 5 years. As well as enjoying the fruits of our labour in terms of the produce we have grown, I have also been an active member of the allotment colony’s association committee which has provided some insight into the issues associated with managing an allotment site. This blog is a reflection on the role of allotments in modern life and why, in my view, they continue to be an important feature of our national culture in the UK.
Recently, via the wonders of social media, I have become aware of what appears to be an example of two initiatives taking place within the same city which seem entirely at odds with each other when it comes to environmental sustainability. The city is Sheffield in the north of England, where on the one hand there has been widespread acclaim for a recently delivered urban greening project, and on the other widespread despair at the removal of thousands of mature street trees. What makes this even more noteworthy is that both of these schemes have been lead by the local authority, Sheffield City Council. This blog post will explore the two approaches and how one appears to undermine the aspirations of the other. Continue reading