The missing Swindale sheep

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

There's a fine RSPB video about their work with United Utilities in a small Lake District valley, Swindale [the vale of the pig].  Here's Rory Stewart's description of Swindale:

"Swindale has always felt like a hidden miracle – a tight-necked valley, opening into bright green fields by the river, a great tongue of land in the centre, neat and fierce as a fairy-castle, and the cold waterfalls coming down from pool to pool. In the bright sun, it might appear a corner of Jurassic Park. But, on the facing slope you can see the long-lines of dry-stone wall running almost vertically up the fellside – enclosing the mountain-face in irregular geometrical slices. Each stretch is perhaps the work of a different generation: brothers dividing their patrimony, and extending their grandfather’s work."

The RSPB video tells a good re-wilding sort of story, full of flowers, birds, insects, fish, amphibians, trees, heather, bogs, waterfalls, etc (and a bizarre amount of blue sky).  What you don't see are farmers or sheep which is what you would have seen in times past.  The RSPB claims not to be against sheep farming in principle; their practice might be another matter as Rory Stewart hints at.

Here's what the Federation of Cumbrian Commoners had to say back in 2013.  The Commoners have a personal interest in sheep farming, as I noted a while back when another re-wilder popped up to Penrith to talk to them.  They must be concerned at all this talk of re-wilding, especially when the 're-' part seems somewhat disingenuous.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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