All too often, we stay in our little boxes. Scientists talk to scientists, artists talk to artists, writers talk to… themselves (well, I do anyway). It is a rare and special subject that brings people together, across disciplines and from a wide range of organisations.
Nature is that special subject. It is all at once the inspiration for creativity, a medicine for the ill, the pound signs for tourism and for all of us the great provider of services that man can only poorly replicate. It is relevant for a two-year-old, it is relevant for a CEO and it matters for each and every one of us, even if we don’t realise it.
Wild Anglia, a forward thinking organisation based in our region, knows this. Its mission is to change the way we think about our natural environment in Norfolk and Suffolk. The aim is to help us all understand the real value of our natural world and the goods and services the environment brings to both our society and economy. Achieving that goal will result in nature being considered in all decision-making processes, rather than as an afterthought, optional extra or even a problem.
After all, our environment is not an impediment to growth, but is instead the bedrock on which all growth is built. We cannot have a healthy society or economy without maintaining a healthy, vibrant and thriving natural world.
I do have a slightly squeamish resistance to reducing the immeasurable wonders of nature to pounds and pennies, for example by simply looking at the money that greenspace saves the NHS or the value to farmers of not having to manually pollinate plants. Nevertheless, I recognise that money is the language modern society speaks, and you ignore that at your peril.
Hearteningly, whilst Wild Anglia champions the economic advantages of a healthy environment, their approach is far more holistic than just that. Their Wild Words programme brings together artists, writers, conservationists, businesses, charities and anyone who cares about the environment for their inspiration and industry, to discuss key issues and share ideas. You can catch up on the debates via videos posted on their YouTube channel.
At the last discussion on health and wellbeing you couldn’t have guessed who was representing big business and who was a creative writer – the language wasn’t money but passion for the amazing natural capital we have in Norfolk and Suffolk.
It’s reassuring to know that there is an organisation representing all of us who care about the environment with the sole purpose of making sure it is considered in all decision-making processes. Wild Anglia is the natural world’s fairy godmother – although no wand and tutu is required for their brand of perception shifting magic.
Kate Blincoe is the author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting (Green Books) and is a freelance writer. Follow Kate on Twitter @Kateblincoe.