Supporting the Natural World, Donana Bird Fair, Conservation issues.

Lynx artwork at the visitor centre hosting the Birdfair.
Lynx artwork at the visitor centre hosting the Birdfair.

At present in the UK and in the rain! I had wanted to post this about a week ago and have been busy visiting friends and attending a Quaker conference on ‘Creating Peace in a Violent World’ At times the prospects of peace in terrible conflicts seems daunting but there are many ways to be actively peaceful. This might not mean a peaceful life and can be challenging when so much needs to be challenged. There also seems to be so much violence inflicted on our environment and I hope that all these newly elected MEPs will take this up rather than focus on the fine or distracting details of migrating humans. There is so much irony in the economic sense of the word’growth’ Can sustainable growth exist ?

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In Spain the SEO organise a bird fair on the outskirts of the Donana Reserve and have been celebrating 60 years of campaigning for birds and habitats. SEO would benefit from an even wider base of support within Spain but are part of Birdlife International which includes the RSPB in the UK. These organisations have to work tirelessly to defend habitats for wildlife and to look into the complex issues affecting our environment. When we visited the bird fair we were fortunate to see all the tree nesting storks in the area, flamingos swimming in the lake, birds of prey, bee eaters and a tiny siskin as we were guided around the reserve Dehesa de Abajo. The SEO have a very good website and now there are the Latin names, Spanish names and English ones!

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We also met up again with Rafa, a young and passionate naturalist who has created many books now on identifying birds in our area the Sierra Aracena and books on trails across the Sierra Morena. Later in the day we went to another part of the areas on the outskirts of Donana and saw the glossy ibis and different types of herons. We also had ourselves photographed by Natura Red with a butterfly gesture for nature. The organisation is supported by the EU and other wildlife organisations and the aim is to keep the network of wild places and habitats across the EU free from exploitation.

Donana is always under some threat and there have been pollution disasters here. However there are successes and the bird life is vibrant along with the breeding of the endangered and beautiful lynx. But there are always threats and on return to the UK there was an article in the RSPB magazine which mentioned the EU directives for nature ; Natura Red means Nature networks or web as Red is also the Spanish for the Internet /Web. Parts of Scotland were also mentioned as under threat of some form of development when these are protected spaces. An article in a Wildlife Trust magazine also tried to think outside the box and try to look at the economic benefit of keeping and extending wildlife habitats for both animals and people.

On arriving here in Humberside by the Humber Flats and estuary I read about the success of all the above organisations working with the companies involved in order to protect and develop habitats for the birds and more along this estuary.  A complex struggle to preserve or develop more suitable habitats. Every little helps but takes time and support for the smaller organisations trying to uphold wild spaces and the desperate need to create more whereas the big companies have finance and access to lawyers and a government often ready to overturn existing protection because there is a overriding ‘need’ for the development.
Below is another of the disturbing bird/man sculptures in the Dehesa de Abajo ‘s visitor centre exhibition!

 

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5 thoughts on “Supporting the Natural World, Donana Bird Fair, Conservation issues.”

  1. I am glad to see bird/habitat preservation in other parts of the world. I write on these topics you address quite often and too little is done to preserve habits for wildlife. As an architect, I have personally worked on sites needing reclamation from toxic chemicals and heavy metals. I have designed interpretive centers to educate the young. Our firm was well known for sustainable building too. Sadly,the concept is not well accepted unless mandated. MONEY!!!! To answer your question “can sustainable growth exist?”, well I feel as long as humans keep multiplying out of control and doing what they do to this Earth, sustainability is not the question, survival will be. I was in Costa Rica on a research mission years back and we worked with Quakers. What a wonderful group of caring people. I agree, those bird/human statues are disturbing. Your link in your comment worked too!

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    1. Glad you were able to make the link. I sometimes find the technology a little frustrating but it is so good to be able to find like minded people and hopefully there will be more changes to support sustainable living but I agree about survival and that is certainly true for many in sub Saharan Africa and with terribly dangerous attempts to migrate into Europe . Will be able to have a good look at your blog soon. I am going to try and ‘enhance’ the beginnings of an oak grove at Navasola. David Nash is a wood sculptor but also landscape artist and did a year in residence at Kew Gardens. He is based in Wales.

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