Herdwicks are native Cumbrian sheep “hefted” to the fells where they were born. This means they only know their own local personalised habitat and are dependent upon it being preserved and nutured by ourselves. Their very future has been at risk quite recently when the disastrous foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 threatened to decimate them. These sheep are wholly impressive, solid, patient, imperious, cuddly, long-suffering and beautiful. They represent a constant in an ever-changing world, content and impassive. Contrast us lot, the all-conquering homo sapiens that are seldom settled, often wanting to move on and complex to the point of neurosis. We have populated and exploited our planet to the point of collapse. Develop, develop, develop; more, more, more are the mantras. Build on the flood plains, build on the woods, build on the breeding grounds of our birds, in fact build anywhere until we cover the planet in concrete. Meanwhile, the Government we hear, wants to lax the planning regulations so more people can live in the countryside. Apparently there is a shortage of affordable housing there and its all the fault of those sniding bureaucrats who make decisions on planning applications, and, oops I almost forgot; The National Trust. This august British institution, that has done more to safeguard the nation’s assets for future generations than the set of wannabes, and neverbeens that populate our seat of power, stands accused of impeding the nation’s progress by opposing this proposed piece of nonsense. Quite rightly, their view is that the great shrinking British countryside desperately needs to be protected. If the lords and ladies think we need more rural housing (and actually we do) then maybe they could offer part of their estates and gardens to the cause. Maybe then, they wouldn’t feel so keen to milk feed the property developers who are the ones that stand to profit from slacking the planning regulations.
Meanwhile – the Herdwicks sleep on……………………….