Thursday, 8 February 2007

Ray Mears on sustainalle living

I've been enjoying Ray Mears latest series, Wild Food. He is looking at how our ancestors lived thousands of years ago, how they hunted and gathered food. He applied techniques learned in current hunter gathering societies such as Australia to see how a population could be sustained. Our ancestors knew about the different properties of foods, which had healing powers, where they grow best, how to harvest and process with minimal impact on their environment.

Ray came to Woodley a couple of years ago, I got a signed copy of his latest book. He was charming despite the constant queue of fans. In addition to his TV and writing he also runs courses on bush craft and sells survival tools. See

Living with nature is of great interest, we have lost much or our connection to our surroundings. Programs like this are quite a contrast to the usual ones about food or conspicuous consumption. One of the most worrying trends is about buying property abroad. We've seen in this country how much trouble is caused by holiday homes, villages abandoned out of season no longer have shops, and local people can't afford to buy. Add to this increased flying and isolated groups of foreigners who don't learn the local language. Its so sad that people fall in love with an area, and instead of wanting an occasional visit want to own part of it. Eventually the numbers of people owning second homes in a place has such an impact on the environment that it becomes less appealing, and people look to repeat the process elsewhere.


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