Spare this beautiful place

In this fragile place,

where greed talks loud.

In this beautiful place,

of moors and farmland.

In this tranquil place,

where streams run clear.

In this proud place,

where villages have stood

for centuries.

In this threatened place,

where decisions, made

in council chambers

and behind lobbyist doors,

will change it

for ever.

In Ryedale, North Yorkshire.


Why would you frack here?

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Lavender for Lunch & Dinner


On a recent trip to the UK the bumblebees were prolific in the lavender flowers. They were busy all day and even into the early summer evening. It was lovely to watch them, especially as many of the species are in decline and two have actually become extinct.

I always remember studying them in school when I was doing my A levels and the teacher telling us they were aerodynamically unable to fly. This always puzzled me, but I now read that this was a misconception of the 1930s and in 2005 it was shown through high speed photography, that the way they flapped their wings was different to the way previously understood. I do love science!

Bumblebees are mainly under threat because of changes to the countryside in the UK. Changes in agricultural techniques have meant that there are far fewer wildflowers in the landscape than there used to be, meaning that many of our bumblebee species are struggling to survive.



I’ll sing of a place to my heart very dear, a place where I always would dwell
And if you would kindly lend me your ear, a few of its beauties I’ll tell …

The opening lines of a traditional folk song, Song of the Swale. I remember going to the Black Bull pub in Reeth on Saturday nights many, many years ago and the whole pub would have a singsong escorted by an elderly lady who played the piano. The Song of the Swale was always sung with absolute vigour.


Swaledale tree

Swaledale, North Yorkshire, England