Snipe is hope for the future

Snipe by Dave Steel

Dave Steel looks back on days when he regularly heard snipe on the moss, and finds new hope in hearing one today.

Today, my legs didn’t travel too far on Little Woolden Moss but my mind had a long (very) distant memory, as a snipe proclaimed its territory through its song, carrying me back to well . . . then.

Then, being that day when I first heard this call and, ever after for a few decades, if I revisited that area I expected to hear this song of the wild.

Sadly this was not to be the case as the marshy habitat it needed was drained and something in the environment changed and asked these birds to retreat north.

My encounters with these, once fairly common, birds on our moss could still be relived on a remote Scottish Isle where I was helping bird ringers from the British Trust for Ornithology who were studying storm petrels. The habitat there remains unchanged even in my lifetime.

In truth this was poignant, rather than uplifting, for it brought a yearning for our doorstep wild to still be there ready to alert and entrance others who would be wandering this still wild area of the moss. It hurt to think that this might never be the case again.

Yet here today in our Wild at this “grey temple” stage of my life, was that which I had never expected to hear again on my doorstep. It’s all thanks to:

  • The tenacity of the wild to survive, and;
  • The dedication and belief of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust that they could reverse the taming of the wild and regain it.

This positive wild led me home to my grandchildren who, as I did at their age, will now have this and, hopefully, more returning wildlife in their lives.

30 Days Wild