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Ian
 

There is a Broken Connection Between Cities and Wildness – Living Adventurously 13

Professor Ian Rotherham is an expert on a range of environmental issues, including urban wildlife, extreme weather, flooding and climate change. He has published extensively in academic journals, and has released a number of books on UK wildlife and the environment. Ian is a man positively bursting with enthusiasm and knowledge and ideas.

Ian poured forth a cheerful stream of lessons on the environment, eco-tourism and rewilding. We talked about the cultural severance between cities and wildness, and the reassuring dictum that you can change the world, a little bit at a time: perhaps by beginning with rewilding your back garden.

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SHOW NOTES

  • If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys
  • Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe
  • Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys
  • Ian Rotherham’s blog
  • Ecotourism should not only be “take only photographs, leave only footprints”, but we also need to try to help people in a benign way.
  • Adventure literature is often about “defeating nature” rather than pausing for a while or caring for the landscape.
  • We need more respect and awareness when dealing with the vulnerable resource of the natural world.
  • How best to minimise your damage and maximise your positive impact
  • Rewilding, in all its guises, (including rewilding the mind) can save the NHS millions, as well as all the other benefits.
  • Sheffield Trees Action Group
  • The communities that are able to protest about their environment are usually the most affluent ones.
  • Trees give you a sense of place and seasonality. They are therapeutic and spiritually uplifting.
  • The new urban wild and bringing wild to the people
  • Cultural severance in urban landscapes – a broken connection between cities and wildness
  • Feral – George Monbiot
  • Shadow woods – Ian Rotherham
  • You can change the world, even incrementally and a bit at a time. Rewilding your garden is a good start.
  • Globally and in Britain, in terms of nature conservation, biodiversity and sustainability we are indeed in a very bad way – essentially the ecosystem is broken and we need to mend it
  • The problems are not as simple as carbon = climate change = plant lots of trees! Such naïve thinking is actually dangerously misconceived
  • Rewilding offers a radical new approach to resolving many of the issues in ways which are, paraphrased from Lawton (2010), bigger, bolder, better, more joined …..However, this idea needs to connect with a far wider community especially in urban areas
  • Additionally, approaches have to be paid for and not just with ‘ecosystem services which are community goods’ – but with MONEY ….. (This is a fact not popular with politicians for example!)
  • I suggest that farmers & farming have to be part of the SOLUTION and are not, as often portrayed, the problem

TRANSCRIPT

Below is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:

https://otter.ai/s/4mbmzPCyRr2gYKfRXYdvbQ

Alastair Humphreys
And joining me today is by considerable way, the most qualified person I spoke to so far. Professor in Robin. BSC ons PHDPGCODMSVC bit MIEMCENV. Yeah. Thank you for deigning to talk to an idiot like me. This is a question I always ask people with PhDs an d it has zero follow ups deliberately. But what was the title of your PhD? It was the ecology of Rhododendron ponticum

was slow for questions was

Ian Rotherham
ponticum. It means it’s Rhododendron. And it actually means the red tree from Turkey, Pontus, and most people, different road standards come from the Himalayas. And I’ve even had collide, expert ecologist presented conferences, saying that they were from the Himalayas, which they were and that’s why I’m

Alastair Humphreys
so disappointed by your PhD title because it’s actually quite understandable. Yeah, often. The reason I always ask people about them is because they’re often so spectacularly niche, which I suppose is part

Ian Rotherham
of the subtitle, which is probably not give me that

special reference to the mycorrhizal inflexions

Alastair Humphreys
good. Yeah, now we’re getting better. Yeah, that’s better. So to get bracket back into my kind of comfort zone, what is your favourite tree?

Ian Rotherham
What, as a species or an individual? Ah, good. Good point. Both

Yeah. I think my favourite tree of all is probably the major oak. And I recently wrote a book about the veteran trees of Sherwood Forest. Try to understand what happened to them. We start off with about 40,000 fantastic old trees in 1600. And we’re now down to about

1000 and quite a few of the head.

So I think probably the major is my favourite actual species. Actually individual tree. My favourite species is probably the small leave line.

Alastair Humphreys
Nice for the buzzing of the bees and

Ian Rotherham
not one yeah, partly but also my mental University was a very eminent Boston is called Professor Donald Piggott. And he is the world’s leading authority. Daniel is about 99 is still the world’s leading authority, online trees and passwords, okay. And he introduced me to this species when I was a fledgling student. And some of the the line trees grow and they grow up, and then they fall over everything, 400 years. But the stems are connected as what we call a cloud. And some of these individual trees and remote parts of Coniston, for example above constant water, estimated to be over 2000 years old. Wow. So I think that’s a species that is tenacious and it deserves all the respect that you can possibly find.

Alastair Humphreys
And so I’ve only known you for an hour. But the reason I got in touch with you at first was I was looking for curious passionate people with purpose. That’s the thing that really excites me about different people. And we’ve been chatting about our and you basically just poured an hour’s worth of I could spend months thinking about all the things you’ve taught me so I’m not surprised that you’re an eloquent answer to your tree. What’s your favourite bird?

Ian Rotherham
Oh, my favourite individualise at this moment is almost this a pat more hand has taken up residence in my garden, which I’m particularly fond of because you don’t often get more homes in order invite gardens in suburban Sheffield, and this visited in the winter and it’s been here ever since I said it left to go and breed on a nearby park upon. And then this week it came back to my amazement. So I think my pet nor hand

Alastair Humphreys
nice. My undergraduate dissertation was on Coots. All right, yeah. And I’ve disliked them ever since.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it can have that effect.

Alastair Humphreys
And some of your professor, a professor of environmental trophy and read it in tourism and environmental change. And so I was interested in the looking at eco tourism, sustainable tourism and how that transfers to my world of adventure. And what direction the adventure come in, teach it moving. One of the reasons I’m spending a whole month cycling around Europe is to try to seek out adventure. Without flying to Can I have invention. And I have new, interesting experiences without flying. So what are the what are some of the misconceptions of the Eco tourism? movement? What what direction should adventure be moving in? Do you think?

Ian Rotherham
Yeah, I mean, ecotourism i think is an issue because it’s a bit like rewilding is a phrase, it’s something that’s been popularly adopted. But it actually doesn’t mean really what people think it means. So pure eco tourism is got the idea of take any photographs leave on the footprints. Now, that means you have no economic, social or other effects.

Alastair Humphreys
Positive or negative. So shouldn’t be take any photographs leave only footprints, and a load of cash

Ian Rotherham
and cash flow check or whatever.

Alastair Humphreys
Okay, we got,

Ian Rotherham
we got beer. Yeah, baby CNE tourism is going to change people. And we have to find ways to change people in a supportive and benign way. And one of the sad things that we’re losing throughout the world, the moment are the last vestiges of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultures. And there is a big, big issue, which I know quite a few people in the adventure world explorers and like, have highlighted that once some of these peoples have contact with Western culture, then they know that their culture will ultimately decline. And it’s a horrible, horrible fact of our existence. So we need to find ways of doing it better. We need to find ways of giving people a proper choice of what they want. With ecotourism, there’s an issue that it doesn’t really mean what it says on the can. I do a lot of work on wildlife, tourism, a heritage, tourism, religious tourism, spirituality, things like that. And you’re looking at finding ways that you can harness the power of tourism, to support local communities, and to support the local environment spotlight from nature, that is having an impact. So it’s not obviously pure eco tourism,

Alastair Humphreys
but you can it can it be

a positive force, so whether if the environment or the cultures, or if we truly care about the world’s wild places, should we not go to them and just stay at home?

Ian Rotherham
I think it’s a terrifying balance may say the Attenborough question because Dave estimate has been accused of giving us sorts of rose tinted view of the natural world without dealing with a the nasty bits. And to some extent, you want to do both, and you can’t just have a negative message. So I think exposing people to the wonders of nature to harnessing that, I think, is he hugely, hugely important without venture. I think again, there are issues. We did a review a little while back, a postgraduate and myself of literature on mountain biking. And a lot of it is actually phrased in ways which are from a conservation material quite worrying about defeating nature rather me in nature, comics are in me. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And we, we really struggled to find anything that sell people to you know, pause for a while taking the view, listen to the burbs, we’ve got a big thing in the Peak District where you know, the natural world and outdoor activities using points of the local economy. But a lot of that doesn’t go back into it caring for the environment, in that landscape. And there’s almost because of harsh cuts to local services, like national parks, for example, there’s almost no information telling people about the vulnerability of some of these sites and species. So we’re looking down the Moore’s in summer night, in some cases, you got 2030 people who are going off paced across the Moreland with bright lights on mountain bikes, and they’re sweeping across a whole area. And that’s causing disruption to birds of prey, to dare to mountain has. And it’s just really having a bit of respect and realising that you’re dealing with a vulnerable resource. So it’s not that we don’t want people to be there. It’s just that we share the planet with a whole host of other species. And they have just as much rights as we do, are not in the business of defeating them. Yeah, we should be a sponge them and sharing with them.

Alastair Humphreys
One of the conflicts I find myself at the moment wrestling with is that I love travelling, I love wild place in the world. And I’ve spent many years charging madly all over the world relishing these wonderful places. But by doing so, I’m damaging that the things that I love. And I’m kind of wrestling with, what’s the appropriate response to that? For example, should we not fly anywhere? Should we should we go mountain biking cross the walls? Or should we leave that the grouse in peace? Where do you

Ian Rotherham
find this a fine balance? I mean, basically, you need to find ways to minimise the damage and maximise the positives. You know, I can’t get to conferences, if I don’t lie. I realised that in flying that is a problem. Would my decision not to fly have any impact on the real scalar problem? You know, in terms of things like climate, one of the big things that people don’t want to really get to grips with it’s not just a matter of carbon. I think carbon is far too convenient, big. And this is me with slightly left wing views. You know, we come up with a solution to climate change, which is something that we can trade as a commodity. That’s a scene for how to convene, you can plant a few trees and you can, you know, lay all your problems. The basic problem, yes, there are greenhouse gases, yes, that’s causing an issue. But the basic problem is the way that we managing the landscape. We have too many people managing the world in a way which is clearly not sustainable. We’re polluting the oceans. I mean, one of the dreadful things if you see aerial photographs of the planet, look at the soil, they’re spilling out from every continent, every country into the sea, destroy the seas, ecosystems, and it’s removing our capability and probably 5200 years to grow food. It’s It’s crazy.

Alastair Humphreys
So should you not become a vegetarian?

Ian Rotherham
Well, yeah, I mean, again, it’s a difficult decision because if you do become a vegetarian, then you step aside from a lot of the traditional ways that we manage them SK which brings huge ecological benefit. So the traditional Hey, Meadows of the opposite ales, which are iconic, and are worth millions of pounds in tourism revenue, for example. They disappear. The Marlins disappear, all these Gray’s landscapes disappear, and the food chains on which you know, which depend on disc. So there are the whole issues I respect anyone who’s vegetarian. I cook a lot of vegetarian food, but I still like the occasional steak or Yeah.

Alastair Humphreys
When I’m, when I cycled into to Sheffield, I’ve been cycling the Stratton’s bike parts quite a lot. Yeah. Which are great. And I was very surprised, coming towards Sheffield, as I hit the Red Dawn around Doncaster expecting a bit of a dump. Yeah, it was extremely beautiful. It’s very green. Someone told me to look out for kingfishers. So, but and yet there is still these Industrial Revolution bridges. I quite like them explicitly. Can you tell me about some of the local nature successes around here?

Ian Rotherham
Yeah, I mean, the river Don, I think is symbolic, all these things. Because when I was a kid, it was horrible. I mean, it was really depressing. It was smelly. It was polluted with sewage detergent from non biodegradable detergent from blowing around the river in the streets covered in untreated sewage. I mean, this is pretty gross. And it was hard because there was we used to call the industry and we had no nothing really living there very few plants, and almost no fish at all. But supposedly if you mutant sticklebacks with five is it now the river dome has what I call self rewilding. And it’s we’ve done a lot of work the the five ways to trust and other people and other evident company and others to rename each other down. But a lot of it’s just nature doing its own thing. You know, we’ve stopped doing the bad things and nature’s got back in and we’ve got ways of sideways along the river. We’ve got wildflower Meadows along the sideways along the river, and the river itself has regenerated and you’ve now got kingfishers, otters water photos, heroes go Sanders calm rooms. The whole thing is vibrant. his rage is green. And

Alastair Humphreys
yeah, it’s really encouraging. I really hope it’s been one of my favourite parts my ride around Yorkshire, so

Ian Rotherham
and it’s accessible. That’s the other things accessible to huge numbers appear

Alastair Humphreys
and accessible. I think it’s a really interesting part about rewilding, one of the big problems with urban society these days is the mental health of society. What impact can rewilding have on the mind?

Ian Rotherham
Well, this is one of the the themes of our event coming up next here rewilding 2020, because it’s kind of tried to reach out. And I’ve done a lot of us work with bodies like the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust. And we now know a lot more about the therapeutic value of nature, which might be mental or physical health. If you create if you facilitate the right content, and he came to save the country, to health service costs, you can save millions if not billions of pounds. We’re not yet doing it properly. And instead of for some things instead of giving people drugs, then we just need to give them a recommendation to come work for a few days a week with the RSPB all my nature is that I have to do some work on the river down with a community groups where you can actually improve people’s mental Bobby you can improve their physical well being absolutely enormously we need to take that for that has to be a part of the rewilding rewilding isn’t just kind of reviving the Highlands of Scotland, you know, releasing world back into the landscape. And it’s obviously to do with a mental thing is rewilding, the mind is rewilding, our connexion to nature, rebuilding that vital thing, which is an urban community, we’ve lost.

Alastair Humphreys
One of the things that Sheffield, the outdoor city, has become very famous for the last few years is wild, not let’s complete wrong word is

jumping down all the trees.

That’s one of the things you’ve become famous for, sadly. And I’m not going to ask you about this. And I suspect that will launch off into that. diatribe. Yeah, but linking to what we just talked about. And tell me about the chopping down of trees across the community and the different areas of the city. So you got some poor areas, and some rich areas, and how how that affects the world first, which areas of truth drop down, and sadly, the mental effects on those different areas.

Ian Rotherham
I mean, one of the issues right from the outset, as there was no real long term strategy. They approached the street trees, which in the urban area, hugely important and when back in the 1980s, that identified green corridors and Connexions, which are often the street trees connecting green spaces across the cities. So the matrix and there was no strategy about maintaining or enhancing that. So what you then get is, is protest from communities quite validly upset about what’s happening with those communities, which are able to protest. So the ones which are often middle class educated, white, affluent communities, they have a separate, that doesn’t mean that their trees are any less valuable. However, what it does mean is that we need to pay to hate those communities who are disadvantaged, who are often far more urban, for whom the street trees and mature storey trees are probably the only green things in their neighbourhood. And these communities often have a high production predominance of very urban major roads, and the moment particulates from diesel fumes and alive. And these trees are all that stands between those people and that pollution. So that needs to be something that is really taking into account before you set out on removing at one point threatening route to remove the 16,000 trees. It’s just crazy. And in Sheffield, we have this disparity between the affluent western suburbs and the poor, eastern suburbs. If you go southwest to northeast, there’s a point where you have about a kilometre, and the expected life expectancy of a male in the two areas differs by about 10 years or one kilometre that’s totally totally unacceptable.

Alastair Humphreys
Yes, ghettoisation, isn’t it? Yeah. Say what impact beyond the beyond this diesel particulates and filtering? What impact can it have to have a walking great tree at the end of your street or even better right outside your house?

Ian Rotherham
One thing chased, if they give you a sense of place, can they tell you where they are or where you are. They also tell you when you are they give you seasonality. So his philosophy is their first contact with nature is what they wake up to, is what they go to sleep next to. So it’s hugely, hugely important. Trees are therapeutic, they are spiritually uplifting. They are something that’s there, they alter your micro environment, the microclimate, etc. But they are mentally, hugely, hugely important. They tell a child that this is their neighbourhood you grow up next to those trees, you grow with those trees. You know, the huge importance here and the fewer trees you’ve got in there in the field in space you’ve got the more important those remain trees down. Yeah, absolutely.

Alastair Humphreys
I was one phrase that I read somewhere of yours, you’re writing about the new urban wild and and bringing wild to the people? Yes, I really like because I spend a lot of my time trying to encourage people to go out and get out into nature and the outdoors and towards adventure. But there are, well, the vast majority of the population just think I’m bonkers. Well, first of all, more than that vast tracts published, have no idea that me and people like me exist, they don’t care. And if they did they just think he’s a weirdo. Yeah. So So essentially, all I ever managed to do is preach to the converted. So how do you go about building a new urban wild and bringing wild to the people?

Ian Rotherham
Well, I think the the term rewilding has captured the public imagination. It’s captured politicians imaginations, it’s captured the media. So there are aspects of rewilding that I think are problematic, but will not delve into that. As a term. It’s fantastically powerful. And we tend to talk about wild and we want to wild the future. So for us, rewilding is looking forward to a future is also looking forward to a future from the perspective of an urban society and urban community, which has very often suffered what we call cultural severances kind of break down the contact, and the dependence on nature, even we have nature, and we have contact is Germany. Now whatever colour we are allegedly society, and we go to legendary landscapes, when we look at nature, we don’t work in nature. And the two experiences are different, doesn’t mean that the relationship The view is bad in some way. It’s just not the same as when you depend on nature, for your next meal, or for next year or for next year’s harvest. Amen. Then you actually have far more respect, you have far more understanding. And we’ve kind of broken that with broken that connexion and things that street trees, how do you rebuild seasonality there, you know, to rebuild that contact? So what we are looking for from rewilding Is it is it becomes an all embracing all encompassing philosophy for like an idea that can link someone in a city centre, who may have no more than a window box, an elderly person, someone with disability who can’t get out to the high peaks or somewhere, they can still have contact with nature. The Urban rivers are self rewilding, you can have contact with nature. And it shall be from that right the way out, held up right way out the lawn right way out to the mountaintop. That’s rewilding rip broad. And we need to do that we need to reconnect ordinary people, not just the elite, but only people with nature, so they feel part of it.

Alastair Humphreys
Can you can you recommend a book a non complicated book that idiots like me, and both my listeners will, will will,

Ian Rotherham
will enjoy will and will be able to have accessible book in the wild world. The only tour at the moment, I think there is Pharaoh by George mondo, which is a seminal volume and his in his style, it’s always really readable. I don’t always agree with everything he writes. But as he writes it very well, he speaks it very well. I would love people to rush out and read my little book on shadow woods, which is a positive thing, because it’s a search for large landscapes news, it was written with local people that we trained to go and do the survey. So we train people to read the landscape to seek out the species which I described with time travellers through the centuries. So these species that have come down to us, and is still there to be discovered. So I think that one that I’m hoping to do, in the very near future become rewilding your garden and that will hopefully speak to ordinary people. Yeah,

Alastair Humphreys
I read I was saying to you earlier, I really think you should get on right there. I think there’s it be a real appetite for rewilding your garden

Ian Rotherham
Damn. So because we can all we can all do something, we can all share this and we can all make a difference. And if you have always I mean, I grew up I grew up in the 1960s 70s, when we had horrible, horrible DDT pollution and small acts and, you know, go to school in a smuggler, you get down you have yellow guns on your chest, you know, it’s a little tiny. And everyone wonder why you always got bronchitis and tonne of slides. So it is really negative. But if you think now what, and I always kind of felt Well, you could change the world, even if you do it incrementally. And even if we do it a bit at a time together, if you kind of get a few other people to do it, and they get other people and he can he can I seem to have a huge impact in the garden. Think how many gardens that I think if each of there’s just a little bit what a difference we can make.

Alastair Humphreys
Yeah, I think really, that’s the only way to get on and change the world, isn’t it? But yeah, yeah,

Ian Rotherham
doing what you can, and you can look out the window and you can see, you know, birds are hedgehog. So I remember a couple years ago, I was talking to a researcher from the BBC and I was on the telephone, looking at my study into the garden. And then suddenly the vegetation started moving. It was something coming down the garden is this huge hedgehog, this was the hedgehog to no headphones. And there is it is so exciting. And I’m talking this person was research from wildlife programmes, and then in front of me in my garden. I’ve got that contact that is just fantastic. And everyone can have that.

Alastair Humphreys
Yeah, it’s really important. I’ve actually been slightly encouraging my site around Yorkshire by seeing lots of dead headshots. Which sounds a sad thing say it proves hopefully that there are live headshots.

Ian Rotherham
Is there a dead ones out there must be enough live on until the last day.

Alastair Humphreys
Yeah. Because down south I’ve not seen even a dead head choke in a decade so I’m quite enjoying your she’s dead headshots, they’re giving me

Ian Rotherham
one of the one of the exciting things is to actually go out and you’ll be getting this as you’re dying on your travels, to go out into the urban landscape. And the early hours of the morning, rather than when everyone’s busy, busy, busy. And the amazing thing I was fine with that is it suddenly you’ve got families of boxers. Amazon contact me said we’ve got boxes on this main road in Sheffield. And every morning at four o’clock, Nick, they’re out with their with their cubs playing on the main road. And then by six o’clock they’ve gone again. And we getting road in the city centre. one giant city centre is fantastic. And when people see these things is so amazing. But often people never had that contact with nature before. And that is wonderful. And what you then hope is that spark for some people, they desire to do almost what you’re doing to get out there into the wild and into the bigger landscape.

Alastair Humphreys
Yeah, yeah, I hope so. And I was just very glad that you agreed to chat with me and so surprised because you are so ridiculously busy. And you’ve written books about Sheffield, the fence woodlands, trees, Pope’s peak cutting eco history? Probably animal?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Alastair Humphreys
How do you get some balance in your life? This is a change of balance in your life between work and family, blah, blah, blah. How do you get some balance in your life because I struggle with that.

Ian Rotherham
It is very difficult when you’re like you and I are passionate about something is there all the time, it’s very hard to switch off. The difficulty I’ve gotten away is that my passion is often have other people’s playground. So I go for a walk in the sun, I can’t help identifying stuff for and I don’t know, it must be something about my face. people stop and ask me questions. So I end up giving an impromptu lecture to people on the Canal Street or something, my wife will be saying, Come on, don’t you know don’t stop done. And he can’t help it because you know, you want to communicate, but you have to try and find those quiet spaces away from it all. And I mean, for me really, I suppose the The main thing is my garden, which is my real eco therapy she like.

Alastair Humphreys
and a half nice, very, very difficult. I mean, I’m interested in history, I’m interested in plays interesting people. You can’t get away from it. As you know, from your travels. You cannot escape it, can you? I think it’s a good thing to be a person who’s interested in things, isn’t it? Another good thing is what you’ve done, which is you have your passions in life and you’ve turned managed to build your working life around. Yes, yes. Which seems a sensible thing to do, if possible.

Ian Rotherham
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I can remember doing my PhD, which was on invasive Rhododendron and onto the history of this plant. And you end up not wanting anywhere near it again, when you finish the thing. You just want nothing to it. And he can’t ski put on the TV and you’ve got a costume drama. And they’re walking through a clump of rhododendrons. And then the other thing is because I do invasive species, I know the dates, which species are introduced, and watching something. And you’ve got here in Nike or someone on this wonderful drama. And I say that’s all right. He can’t that wasn’t there that day. It’s 1800. That’s it,

Unknown Speaker
show you I’ve loved watching.

Alastair Humphreys
So even though you’re busy and passionate, and you got a million letters after your name, you still sadly only have 24 hours in the day. And you can’t do everything in life. But you can perhaps do anything. How do you choose what you are going to do and what you’re just going what you will accept? I can’t do that.

Ian Rotherham
Hmm, very difficult. Because I do quite a lot with local media, I have lots of people contact me. And they often assume that I can do things which I can do in terms of solving problems. And with the environment, people often have limited interest until the problem occurs on their doorstep. And then they’re up in arms. And what I try to do is to give advice, but sometimes I have to step back from being drawn into it. Because I can’t, I just can’t do everything. So I do the best I can with the resources I’ve got. I try to guide people are trying to network I tried to pass it on to other people. And then occasionally something comes up which will really captures what you want to do. So for example, and I know I’m biassed because I’m a Sheffield, a dyed in the wool blades fan, Sheffield United. But we have a project at the moment which encapsulates everything that I’m passionate about, which is a park to selfish efforts. Biggest public open space is hugely visited by local people. It’s kind of where I grew up as a young child playing on in this huge open space. And over the years, we’ve started to discover its history which even the city council managers are totally unaware of. They all kind of think this park originates in the 1900s ways GIFs it to the people of Sheffield, by the wonderful film philanthropist, alderman JG raves. And it isn’t, it’s a mediaeval dear Park, which goes back to a writer free Warren in 1257. And what we’re now doing with help from the lottery is working with local community to rediscover this landscape on their doorstep. So training them to identify the flowers of ancient woodlands, training them how to find a mediaeval charcoal half, train them to find pretty solid features in this or derivative part of landscape. So that’s the kind of thing which I choose to do if I can,

Alastair Humphreys
I think, seeking out and seeing wonder in Lord new bits of urban park scape says there is a wonderful, enthusiastic, interested approach to life. And he and thank you so much for giving me your time and your expertise so generously. And good luck, Sheffield United.

Ian Rotherham
You’re very welcome. Thank you. Thank you very well needed.

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