I have woken up with the most extraordinary vision! To create a patchwork, an interconnecting network, of locally sourced wildflower hay meadow corridors that run the length and breadth of our archipelago, and using a percentage of the profits from Women On Nature to fund it. Working title... ask me when I've had a coffee. The Wildflower Haymeadow Initiative?
I've been trying to work out what is the best way to make Women On Nature useful in practical terms, as well as being beautiful and necessary as a work of literature. Our farmland is de-nuded of diverse habitats through which pollinators (on which all our human lives depend) can travel. Farmers use insecticides with the express intention of destorying insect life. Deep hedgerows are all but gone. Our parks and the great estates managed by the National Trust and National Trust for Scotland are comparatively devoid of habitat. But our grass verges, our railway and motorway embankments, our canal towpaths and even our own gardens form a continuous network that reaches into every corner of our islands. Wildflower pollinator corridors should be central to New Town Planning. And where the pollinators go the wild birds follow. And the dormice, butterflies, moths and hedgehogs. So I want to take some of the profits we can raise through Women On Nature and make this happen. Wildflower meadows are cheap to maintain, sown once in Spring, and cut in October.
Much of this can be achieved by education at a local level, creating an on-line resource and presentation package for local councils, town planners, railway networks. There may be an exisiting body to work alongside, such as Common Ground.
Every day the list of contributing writers grows: Kathryn Aalto, Monica Ali, Sharon Blackie, Linda Cracknell, Natasha Carthew, Sinéad Gleeson and Jackie Morris join Amy Liptrot, Melissa Harrison, Jackie Kay and Anita Sethi. Not all of these voices are what we may think of as "traditional nature writers" - Deborah Orr is known more for her policital acumen and acerbic wit than her relationship with the semi-industrial riverbank at Motherwell. This will be a beautiful book.
We're 58% funded. There's such a long way to go before any royalties are turned into meadow flowers. But I am confident we can get there!
Wildest wishes, Kate
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