Wild Green Thinking

This June I'll be blogging about for the Wildlife Trusts on their annual #30DaysWild initiative. The premise is to do something 'wild' for 30 consecutive days throughout the month, ideally sharing what you are doing through social media. Acts of wildness great and small are welcome, and there is a helpful collection of 101 ideas here, where you can also find a link to this years list of bloggers.The majority of my 30DaysWild posts will follow the standard format, describing my outdoor activities and observations. However, other posts will be a little more conceptual in nature, such as thinking about the concept of 'wildness', the health benefits of spending time outdoors, current issues in wilderness management, or maybe even the use of...
Why am I going to talk to you about this tree? I meet this tree on a daily basis. It is a hazel tree which had partially fallen a number of years ago. To the right you can just see that the roots have been undercut by the stream, likely leading to the fall. Also to the right you can see the new growth, the fall has effectively partially coppiced the tree. When it fell, there was no path. It was not impassible, but no recognisable path existed. Over time the school children at the two nearby secondary schools, drawn to the stream and away from the nearby concrete path, began to create a desire-line, almost imperceptible unless you went looking for it. At some point this 'secret' path became sufficiently consolidated to reach the awar...
If an assessment is to be made regarding the effect of wild time on health or wellbeing, then a clear conceptualisation of 'wild' must at least be attempted. However, it could justifiably be claimed that practically every inch of ground in the UK is to some extent 'managed' or subject to explicit or implicit human manipulation. True wilderness can perhaps only evolve in geological time, rather than ever be created. Does this render the underlying concept redundant? The immediate etymological root for 'wild' is from the old english 'wilde', meaning "in the natural state, uncultivated, untamed, undomesticated, uncontrolled", so not much hope there. 'Wilderness,' however, denotes a place inhabited only by wild animals, most specifically wil...