A Focus On Nature

A Vision For Nature

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit – by Harry Martin.

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?

Over the past few weeks some inspiring individuals have been writing about their #VisionForNature, with posts that have ranged from enthusing and empowering people to enjoy & protect nature, to nitty gritty politics and natural history documentaries (and if you haven’t already done so I thoroughly recommend you read them all). With each new post I have been surprised and heartened to see so many young people with the urge to help make a better future for nature. It of course got me thinking about my own vision for nature, but with so many excellent pieces of writing already I actually struggled to think of something original to put down on paper.

Nature, of course, saved the day. I realised I was struggling because nature is everything to me, how could I start to narrow down everything into a short blog post?

The title for this post is from a quote by Edward Abbey, an American author and essayist, and sums up what I want to say very effectively:

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”

Wilderness doesn’t have to mean huge, unspoiled tracts of land that no human has ever set foot in. I have been lucky enough to visit some areas of true wilderness and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing there is nothing around for hundreds of miles, no people, no cars, just unbroken areas of forest and mountain. Instead though, I like to interpret wilderness as the wild part of us. It’s vital to get outside and experience your own bit of nature and the wild. For me, I find solace and peace in nature. It soothes and calms, but I also find adventure and adrenalin. Without my personal wilderness, that wild part of me, I’d have very little to enjoy in this world.

So through that rather embarrassingly heartfelt ramble I am trying to make the point that my #VisionForNature is a future where we can all find our own personal wilderness, because it’s not a luxury it’s a necessity.

Harry Martin is a wildlife & landscape photography guide on the Isle of Skye. Through his work he aims to capture visions of nature to help promote and protect the natural world. You can find him on Facebook, follow him on twitter (@harrymartin22) or see more of his work on his website.