Mercury Article: Why we’re all changing how we live

‘Rewilding’ sounds like something from Jurassic Park, or a nature documentary with David Attenborough doing voiceover. Instead, it’s the latest idea on how to repair a bit of the damage we’ve all been inflicting on our planet, by creating more habitat for wildlife, and more plants to absorb the carbon we’re pumping out every time we turn on the heating or get in the car.

At its most basic, it means North Somerset Council stops mowing the grass so often, on road verges or in local parks. But if you put it together with everything else, it’s part of a slow transformation of Weston, and the rest of Britain too.

Who’d have thought, a few years ago, that a schoolgirl from Sweden could bring Bristol to a halt like Greta Thunberg did last week? But whether you approve of her methods or not, and local opinions are pretty deeply split about it, most of us are doing our bit for the environment somehow.

There’s the Cleaner Coastlines campaign, started by one of the Weston Mercury’s former journalists. And the pledges by everyone from our local McDonalds to Weston Conservative Club to stop using plastic straws. And the funny looks we’d all get from the neighbours if we didn’t recycle properly at home. And the many local litter picking and beach cleaning groups. And the plastic bag tax. And Puxton Park generates half its energy from solar, and the Grand Pier have swapped their diesel truck for two electric vehicles.  

In other words, we’re all changing how we live, because we want to pass on a healthy planet to our children. It’s a huge, slow-motion change, like a glacier carving a valley through a mountain. The question is; are we going fast enough? The answer is almost certainly ‘no’, so ‘Ever Forward’ as Weston’s motto says!