A Focus On Nature

A Vision For Nature

A Bone Collector’s View – by Melanie Gould

Welcome to our series of blog posts in the run up (originally) to the general election (7th May 2015). Over this month AFON members will share their own Visions for Nature: what they want the natural world to look like by 2050 and how they want to get there. Despite the election being over, we have decided to continue the series as more posts keep arriving from our members! We have created a hashtag on Twitter so why not join the conversation? What’s your #VisionforNature?

In 2050, I would like the natural world to be safe, and returned to how it should be. I would like to see lynx and wolves roaming the countryside like they used to. I would love to be able to see hen harriers gliding on the thermals, without fear of persecution. I don’t just want to see taxidermy animals or just their skeletons in museums. I want to be able to see the living thing. I only collect my skeletons and taxidermy so that I can understand the living animal better. I also don’t just want to see animals in captivity, I want to be able to see them in their natural environment.

(c) Trevor Gould

I would like to see more birds of prey and ground nesting birds in our countryside. I would love to see hen harriers and lapwing population numbers bloom. Why should we be deprived of the hen harriers sky-dance? Why shouldn’t we see the iridescent plumage of a flock of lapwings as we drive down the country lanes? I would also love to see more wildlife on our rivers. It is a very rare sight when you catch a glimpse of an otter, dipper or kingfisher, but with protection, they too can thrive.

(c) Trevor Gould

I personally think that the biggest threats to wildlife are persecution, poaching and lack of safe areas for them to nest. I would be delighted if hunters would stop poisoning and shooting our protected birds and mammals. Blood sports also need to stop, and soon. It’s not fair to make a fox run for miles and then let a pack of hounds shed it to pieces. We once passed a hunt, and the fox jumped into the road in front of us. The terror on the face of that fox was dreadful. We have even had hounds come across our land without permission after a fox which had never caused us any trouble. We never saw the fox again. We have found two carcasses of shredded foxes, and it was horrific. Its inhumane.

I also strongly believe that the cull of badgers should be stopped in its tracks. We have already lost lynx and wolves in this country, why should we lose another native mammal? TB is a big, and devastating problem. But why should all these individual badgers be killed, when a vaccine exists? I know they are expensive, but what’s the price on a life? Every animals life is priceless. I would be devastated if we lost hen harriers, and yet their persecution still continues. Why shoot a hen harrier because it’s doing what it’s evolved to do? If gamekeepers are going to waste so much energy shooting, poisoning and trapping our birds of prey, why don’t they look after their birds better? Another huge threat comes in the form of the Malta Massacre. Every year hundreds of migrating birds are shot out of the sky, purely because some people think that its sport. Anything that flies is a target, whether it be an osprey or a golden oriole. Its a sickening slaughter, and it must stop, otherwise we may lose our migrating birds.

(c) Trevor Gould

The relationship between nature and young people is special because they are the next generation of wildlife conservationists. If more young people were interested in the wildlife that surrounds them, then maybe some of the issues I talked about previously could be solved. I know very few people who are interested in nature, and it’s a real shame. If the younger generation doesn’t care what the adults are doing to their wildlife, good or bad, then we we will surely lose a lot of our wildlife to poachers. Young people should be taught about what lives around them, and what they can do to protect it.

(c) Melanie Gould

Melanie Gould is a 13 year old animal skeleton and taxidermy  collector, with a love for the natural world. She loves the animals that surround her so much, that she collects their skeletons and taxidermy so that she can study them, and understand them better. She has 150 skulls, from a horse, to a great buzzard, to swans, to a coyote. She has collected these specimens from projects, roadsides and has also been sent a few. She has learnt such a lot about the wildlife around me her looking at their skeletons. Her dream is for poaching and blood sports to cease, and our wildlife to be safe.

(c) Trevor Gould