Wild for People podcasts by nature writer Alice
Alice Hughes is one of the London Library’s 2019 Emerging Writers and has an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths University.
Whilst there, she produced a series of podcasts available to listen to here
A wren’s song has a machine gun rattle towards the end. Long-eared bats can listen to individual insects on leaves. Slow worms use their tongues to smell predators. Dandelions are addictive when fried into fritters. Wagons and porches get built faster when you have a team of friends. Signs of insect life are everywhere when you know what you’re looking for. Rummaging in a small square of grassland is like exploring a whole new world.
These are just some of the things I learned during my three months as a nature conservation trainee at Ambios, while living on the Sharpham Estate.
Every day, the Spring trainees learnt new ways to tune our senses in to the life thriving at Sharpham. From monitoring mammals on camera traps at night, to paying attention to the shape of birds with our binoculars, and noticing the soft crumbly texture of micro-organism-rich soil in our hands. Along the way we got happily muddy, stung, scraped and sunburnt. We respected that animals and plants are experiencing the landscape too, often with senses superior to ours, which we will never truly know.
If I had to sum up the experience in one word it would be: hopeful. When done attentively and alongside local communities, rewilding is a hopeful act. It is about giving ecosystems and people the resilience to react to climate change. It is about safeguarding the existence of nonhuman beings, not because they are nice to look at, but because they are.
I wanted to share our experience. That’s why I produced the Wild Sharpham podcast. Each episode explores one of the five senses. I chatted to people leading the rewilding project at Sharpham about all sorts, from woolly Mangalitza pigs, bugs and grasses to gardening and rural crafts.
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Whilst you're on Soundcloud, consider listening through our wealth of recorded meditations by our pool of leaders and teachers here