An autumn woodland with a man in orange helmet brush cutting the grassland

Reflections on 2021

Writing in December 2023, this is what I recall from 2021, a year still plagued by the aftermath of covid restrictions.

This was a year largely dedicated to walking. Either myself in the local landscape, or leading walks with Dursley Welcomes Walkers. I had taken over the website which needed a complete rebuild. I also launched the Dursley Walkers facebook group to build up a local network of people interested in walking. Finally, in October I organised my first Dursley Walking Festival (which was the 10th anniversary of that event).

So a lot of website work, which led me to discover wordpress and all it’s implications. In short though, I was able to build a content management system for self guided walks and also a customised booking system for the walking festival. It was not necessarily pretty or efficient, but I learned a lot about the basics of publishing and promoting websites.

In June of this year, I had my first encounter with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. They are appointed to deliver the Biodiversity Net Gain for the canal restoration project. As part of that, they bought 21ha of land alongside the canal which will be turned into a wetland reserve. There’s also an old orchard that needs restoration and this was the focus of the initial work parties. A great opportunity to join a conservation project right at the beginning.

This was also the year I discovered Wild Acres. Martin was the walk leader on the foraging walk at the festival, and I met him at the walk leader’s debrief. He mentioned the Wild Acres project which he’s started earlier in the year and intrigued, I went down to learn more about it.

I continued to do both winter habitat management and summer seed harvesting with the Glorious Grasslands project. The covid restrictions stopped a number of the activities earlier in the year, but the summer went along pretty smoothly.

I also got involved with Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) for the first time. They were doing a huge tree planting programme in floodplains to help catch agriculture run off.

A new car was purchased this year – an electric Renault Zoe. This is the start of a whole new way of thinking about transport.

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