Why can’t we all become amateur naturalists?

It is nigh impossible to change the culture of a business let alone change the culture of a planet; however, it is possible – but everything’s against us. Which is why we all need to start today.

Take, for example, the food that we eat: how on Earth (literally!) are we going to provide enough food for another three billion people by 2100 without destroying the natural world? Add to food security the additional demands for healthcare and social cohesion and we’re facing a problem that is not going to go away.

If we’re lucky enough to still be roaming the planet by 2050 we’ll be sharing it with around 9bn other people – that’s a 20% increase in the world’s population.

Sub-Saharan Africa may well become the fastest growing region –  but their problem is our problem: take for example “our” migrating swallows that depend on a safe passage to and from Africa – are they to become a food source? Will there be enough habitat left to sustain their survival? This growing human population will be forced to seek food and shelter elsewhere in the world. We are interconnected.

So what can we do?

We can start by putting our own house in order and then we can all agree on the job – what needs to be done; what must get done. Then we can adopt that as the game plan. It may be too late for many of us to play a part, which is why it’s essential that education becomes the culture changing vein. This is something the contributors to this blog are passionate about and one of the reasons Professor Cooper and his wife Margaret Cooper spend time sharing what they have learned and passing on their knowledge to help fight wildlife crime and care for animals. Together John and Margaret Cooper have passed  on their knowledge the way Maxwell Knight passed on his knowledge as an amateur naturalist to John Cooper when he was a Surrey schoolboy and boy scout.

At times it is an unglamorous and hard life; however, if the life of an amateur naturalist was good enough for one of Britain’s most successful MI5 spy-running agents (Maxwell Knight) and the inspiration behind Ian Fleming’s “M” it might just be a worthy way for us (and our children) to spend our time, too.

Why can’t we all become amateur naturalists?

We can.

Simon King

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