The Wildlife Trusts have told us that it’s a good idea to do something wild every single day of June. So Eddie and I thought we’d better do what they say, and we’re going to try and make a project out of it.
We began today simply enough: by walking round our scrap of marsh. And then we sat on the bench; Eddie drank apple juice and I, for once soberly, had some orange juice. The big sky of Norfolk all around us. Eddie, I should add, is my younger son. He was 14 last week. He loves wildlife, horses, dogs and Elvis, and he has Down’s syndrome.
So we sat in a rather chilly and blustery chunk of June weather and a few swifts flew overhead. I think Eddie’s got the hang of them. He also correctly identified whitethroat from the scratchy song that was belting out from a patch of brambles.
Perhaps the finest thing about this spring is the fact that a willow warbler has set up a territory on our own bit of the marsh and is singing his soft sweet song from its heart, doing so with great verve. So we stopped and had a good listen.
We then turned round and came back the way we had come, because the was blocked by a fresh crop of nettles, deeply hostile to a boy’s legs. A swan looked at us rather balefully from the dike and then a few more birds crossed the sky.
“Swifts!” said Eddie.
And then I realised that this project is not really about adding a bit of wild to an ordinary day. It’s about trying to demolish the barrier that we have created between wild and tame.
So here’s Eddie’s view of the same walk around the marsh.