Holidays almost over, and the urge to sit in front of a computer reasserts itself in my priorities, elbowing the taking of exercise out of the way. I did manage some fresh air and walking during the break, however, and on one of these expeditions, came across Earth First!'s summer gathering at Seathwaite farm in Borrowdale.
Initially, I came across their high-handed usurping of scarce car parking space around the farm, and only afterwards found the training / education programme which, from what I saw of it, seemed lacking in pedagogical flair.
The workshops, however, are informed by a striking example of Lawton's selection from culture.
Alas, despite its urging for all to "come by public transport if at all possible", like many another NGO that parades its virtues in this way, Earth First! then relied on those who dared to come by car and motorhome to use that transport during the gathering to ferry folk around to venues away from the farm. Hypocrisy is not going out of fashion too quickly it seems.
However, maybe the University needs its own Earth First! group. After all, it only takes two or three, as the Earth First! website explains. It might have one already, of course, with all that emphasis on fairtrade, the disruption of car-parking, ... . It's not for me, though. I've given up vegan cake for life.
The summer gathering sounds great fun! Abseiling, climbing, cake-making, collecting wild food (is that blackberry picking?), first aid, menstrual cycle tracking (not so sure about that one), putting up tents in beautiful Seathwaite, not to mention kayaking, raft building and sailing!
I wonder what kind of canoes, sailboats, ropes and raft-making equipment (those big, blue barrels?) they used? These days, most of this stuff is made of polypropylene, but presumably Earth First! cast such items aside and only used equipment made from wood etc? Well done! Or did they?