Reflections Feed

Grow more trees

Why isn't Formby growing more trees?

Tree-3822149_640I know that as a community Formby recognises the importance of trees, witness the campaign to save the village horse chestnut trees. But there seems little or no movement in sowing and growing more. 

I constantly find myself asking, why is that? We've got the space, we know how important they are to the planet and well being on a personal level.

Chemists will tell you of the importance of  catalysts.

So where and who are our community catalysts?

In Frome it was a group of people who paved the way with a movement around the idea of 'Flatpack Democracy. As a Formby Parish Councillor I had hopes that it would become the source of inspiration for a myriad of community activists, a hub for community catalysts. Sadly that hasn't happened. 

We need to learn from Frome.

Here's a video from the Tree Conference 2018, lets watch Peter Macfadyen explain.

Frome town council is run by an independent party of local residence facilitated by Peter Macfadyen, author of Flatpack Democracy.  In this section of the 2018 Tree Conference we give Peter the stage to explain a bit about that pioneering work and what policies they have put in place.

Peter then interviews Julian Hight who has been working hard to restore Selwood Forest with an active group of passionate supporters, local landlords, representatives from national bodies like the Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trusts.

This is a good template for how communities can develop citizen-led wildlife corridors and landscape restoration.  The Selwood Forest group’s work continues to go from strength to strength.



Book Search

I have a passion for books, I'm an avid book reader and therefore by definition a bibliophile.

BibliophileI struggle to find space in the house to stack and display the books I've bought over the years.

But, there's an associated obsession too and that involves an overwhelming curiosity in other people's reading habits.

Lockdown is lending additional support to my intense interest. Are you like me?

Every televised interview, where for reasons of lockdown, it's conducted by a video link is enriched if the interviewee sits in front of book filled shelves.

Sometimes I'm really not interested in what's been said, rather I'm eagerly scanning the book shelves. Are there books I recognise and own, can I decipher the titles, are there clues to the readers interests or passions?
And other ideas flash through my mind,  as I frantically scan the shelves trying to note are the book shelves tidy or random, are the books arranged in order, alphabetically or subject, what topics, are the book old or relatively new, do the shelves account for the various sizes of the books?

And even more questions.

Are there other objects on the shelves, little knick knacks, photos etc
How big is the library behind the interviewee, are the shelves modern or traditional?

Finally what books if any are sitting in a stack on a table or desk. I presume that these are the books presently occupying the attention of the subject of the interview. It's so frustrating it the titles are upside down and many video link-ups are low definition and so the titles impossible to read.

Nonetheless I can't resist trying, what about you?