Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thursday 11th August

Grouse butt - a couple of verses by Ted Hughes

But inside each one, under sods, nests
Of spent cartridge-cases
Are acrid with life.
Those dead-looking fumaroles are forts.

Monkish cells, communal, strung-out, solitary,
The front line emplacements of a war nearly religious--
Dedicated to the worship 
Of costly, beautiful guns

2. It should be unacceptable to harm nature but easy to help it. Currently, only 1/3 of the basic payment is conditional on meeting ‘green’ farming standards. In the future, 100 per cent of any public payment should be conditional on meeting higher standards of wildlife, soil and water stewardship.  Dame Helen Ghosh;

Other statements from the Director General of the National Trust are written down and expressed but of course it will be a long journey to the reality!  So we approach the 'glorious 12th', or the killing for pleasure of birds.  Grouse will be shot up on the moors, the arguments about whether burning the heather is a good thing or bad, or whether it causes flooding. But many of us will be angry about the killing of raptors by over enthusiastic landowners and game keepers in their efforts to keep the grouse numbers up.

Nearer home and the family have been staying with us the last three days, I bought the girls those intricate adult colouring books which keeps them amused for a couple of hours, and we went a walk over the fields with the dogs yesterday.  Came across three cars with several official people standing around in the old lane which was surprising, my daughter reckoned a murder had taken place, but I reckon they had something to do with the Environment Agency and the river.  I had met a couple of young men in the fields the day before, obviously mole killing as he pulled up traps from the grass and all the rabbits have mysteriously disappeared as well!  The long litany of death in the countryside......

We now have a Japanese stone lantern in the garden, an enormous lorry pulled into the drive yesterday, it had arrived on a pallet in three pieces and LS has worked out it's position in his Japanese strip alongside the house...

His strip ends up in my vegetable bit...

That bloody dog is in my basket again!  Lucy whose life gets disrupted by children  and Teddy the dog


  1. I totally loathe the 'guns' who descend upon the countryside simply to blast beautiful birds out of the sky !

  2. There was a photo yesterday of about a 50 dead carcases of grouse laid out proudly and neatly in front of a mansion, it is the smugness that gets me. Chris Packham has just been on the radio arguing the toss but it will still go on.