Animals with simple needs get to know very early on how to satisfy them. The first need is survival. They get to use what’s in the landscape to help them. This is a long way from the complex systems of modern industry. Here is how to use what's in the landscape, seen this morning just around sunrise. The hind is using the trees to shelter from the cold north-west wind and is positioned on a south-east facing slope to catch the first warmth from the rising sun.
She has used the dry bracken to create a nest around her keeping much of her body heat from scattering into the cold air around.
Further off one of the young animals keeps some body warmth around him using his own coat, fluffed out.
Now the cold nights are more common lots more growth of thick body hair bulks out the coats of these animals and they will increasingly lose that striking redness which characterises them in summer and autumn. Long necks are particularly vulnerable to the cold and extra layers appear there.
Wild animals use the landscape and what's in it; that's not the same as exploiting it. Farmers never tire of telling us that farming is a business and an industry. That's why we shouldn't have it in every corner of the countryside. The clashing narratives are too many to be counted that rise up when land managers, farmers, shooting apologists get to speak (far too often). Perhaps we should add to the list those academics who push for more management - presumably because they can run courses for young aspiring land managers. For example what is a 'cultural landscape' when you decide to promote it? What culture do you choose out of many and which elements do you leave in and which kick out?
All historical periods, their communities and cultures have used what's in the landscape. It's just that when man goes beyond living alongside nature and uses every way possible to drain it of its previous essential character then we're into industrial exploitation. When SWT decides that for them the character of the land on Blacka must reflect what it was, say, 150 years ago (if that's what they want – they’ve never made it clear) then that kind of cultural landscape must be their target. But it's highly questionable to re-impose it using the means available in the 21st century - heavy machinery and chemical sprays, top down management and (a particular favourite) laminated A4 notices stapled to posts. Far better to allow what wildlife there is to go its own way and influence what we have in a benign non- industrial way.
So come on, let's hear from those who defend the refusal to allow a natural unexploited landscape to exist anywhere in this country.