Joy and sorrow in 30 Days

Darin Smith

Well we have pretty much had a month of sunshine for the whole of 30 Days Wild - can anyone remember it raining?

Hopefully, the 3,500 people in our region and 350,000 nature lovers nationwide have enjoyed the whole of June and gone completely wild. And hopefully they will continue to do some of the wild things they have enjoyed.

Businesses and schools have also become involved which is great news for the future.

Sadly the last few days of 30 Days Wild has been under a cloud of smoke because of fires on our moors. I was at Saddleworth Moor yesterday and it was eerily silent. There were no skylarks up above, with their tumbling song, and no curlews, trying to lure us away from their nests.

While our brilliant fire service, armed forces, police and volunteers battled to put our the blaze, there was a stillness that you don't expect on a moor in summer. With foodplants destroyed and insects and small animals killed off, there is no reason for birds, butterflies and bees to hunt around the area.

I cannot imagine the devastation of parent birds having to leave behind fledglings trapped as the fire spread across thousands of hectares. It is just too upsetting to think about.

As I drove around today reports of new fires on our moors were coming in Rivington, Winter Hill and Belmont. This is such bad news.

We all need to appreciate just how important our wilderness areas are and look at new ways to manage and protect them.

An antidote to the horrors of these fires and the people who may have started them, is to visit the moors this weekend to appreciate just how glorious they are.

And if you hear a skylark, sing a little song because you know he will still be there brightening our summer days even more.

Thanks to everyone who took part in 30 Days Wild. If you want to do something wild in the coming months go to What's On on our website or the Brockholes site.