I was talking to my uncle one day last week. He is 93 and when the talk turned to the floods, this was his response. ‘During the war, we had to grow more food, so farmers were told to dig up the hedges and fill the ditches. The hedges never got put back and now there is nowhere for the water to go so we only have ourselves to blame.’ Part of this is true but there are other factors too. We build houses on flood plains and right by the side of streams and rivers as well as on top of cliffs and under them. We ‘make’ the railway take the shortest route even though it may not be the best route but time is precious or so we think. I am sure you can think of other examples where we stop the rain from going into the ground. How many of you have laid tarmac or concrete on your driveway so you can park your car better? Where does your rainwater go?
As druids should we be more aware of what we do and how what we do affects the land around us? I think we should be very aware of the results of our actions and take the time to think about these actions and whether they are right for our environment. This week we have seen the power of the water and we have been given a strong message about the way we build homes and transport systems. Also there have been many other results of the floods where the animal world is concerned. Some species have not been able to reproduce this year as their homes were swept away by the water. The slug has done well though.
So what can we do to ensure that these things don’t happen in the future? Is it too late to change the way we live? The Woodland Trust has gifts that include the sponsorship of the planting of a hedge as well as preserving old fallen trees for the insects.
To cheer us all up, here is a photo taken earlier this year on Woodland Trust property.