Friday 2nd December 2011
I am writing this blog a day earlier because Muncaster is hosting a Christmas Fair over the coming weekend. Even the courtyard outside the WOT offices is crammed full of stalls. Much of the site looks like a set from ‘Day Of The Triffids’; everywhere seems to be sprouting dark green sprigs of pine, a staple for the festive Yuletide garlands. I was enlisted to do just that in our entrance unit yesterday afternoon.
We are setting up for business ourselves; both gazebos have been erected; the one by the pond for owl trinkets and souvenirs, and the one in the Owl Garden for owl photographs. There will be guided owl tours round the centre on Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th of December. These tours will be hosted by the World Owl Trust’s Honorary President Tony Warburton and Trustee Graham Smith. They are scheduled for 12 noon; 1pm and 2pm on both these days. It promises to be a big event, and well worth a visit.
We had a ‘brainstorming’ session on Tuesday the 29th of November. This was hosted by managerial consultant Hugh Evans, and was designed to help all the WOT staff to develop a clear picture on where WOT might be heading in the near and distant future. This involved massive sheets of paper for individuals to put make entries on what those people felt was and might be significant both to themselves and to WOT in the past, present and future. Dates for the future were 2015 and 2050. One entry for 2050 came in the form of a question; ‘will conservation still be relevant?’ As far as I’m concerned, (and this not necessarily the opinion of the Trust), I think conservation will become VERY relevant, not because of the sentiment that we should preserve nature for its own sake, but because the last beautiful wild places will become commodities form which the landowners will be able to make vast amounts of money from. This will mean that as financial assets, these places will have ‘state of the art’ management systems in place, to preserve them. I fear this will be the only reason why the wild places will be preserved. The wild and beautiful places will become the sole preserve of the rich. This is already happening very near to home. If you want to see a spectacular waterfall in one of our neighbouring national parks, you have to pay an entrance fee.
I have to say, that this was the overriding thought that struck me at that brainstorming session.
See you next week.
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|World Owl Trust
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The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.