Achieving Nut Zero! by Peter Alan

June 30, 2021 Off By Wild Anglia
Photo RPowell

Another blog from Peter Alan and his unusual take on Environmental issues Love this one!

The summer burst into life late May and I spent some time in Thetford Forest sketching treescapes and capturing that dappled light. Sitting under a tree and putting the finishing touches to a drawing I glanced down to see a squirrel making off with one of my pencils.

“Hold on Fluffy Butt I shouted”, he stopped in his tracks and turned with a look of who me on his face.

“ Where are you going with my pencil?” I asked.

He turned around and produced another three he had acquired. “I am going to knock them into my tree and hang that up”, he said pointing to a large piece of rolled up rope netting.

“Where did you get that?”

“Over there”, he said pointing to a children’s play area in the distance, I squinted and could see a wooden frame that clearly once was home to a climbing net.

I looked disgusted and asked disapprovingly “why did you do that, mindless vandalism if you ask me?”

“The Green Un’s made me do it” he said shrugging his shoulders with a wry smile.

I took a breath and thought Green Un’s, hang on has he had a close encounter with Extra Terrestrials, it this another Rendlesham Forest story, am I am about to break a news story, accepting that my source is talking squirrel with criminal tendencies.

“Green Un’s, what Green Un’s”, “excited I asked, “small, antennas, eyes on stalks?”

“No Green Un’s, National England, Green Badges on their sweatshirts we call them Green Un’s”

“You mean Natural England”, hugely disappointed as they definitely not from another planet, “your telling me that Natural England told you steal that?”

“Well yes, well no, well indirectly yes”


“Well you see I was gathering nuts, it is May after all”

“There are no nuts in May”

“There are in the supermarket in Thetford”, he looked surprised at my ignorance of nature, “I like them BBQ Crispy Coated ones, always help myself to a couple of bags when I am in there”

“You mean you don’t pay, I am adding this up, a net, four pencils and two bags of nuts, don’t tell me you plant them”

“Can’t pay, cant’ reach the card reader and I don’t like to carry a credit card, do plant them but they never grow I think it’s the crispy coating”

“Well you are hardly providing an eco-system service are you?”

“Not sure what that is, is it like them self service tills?”, he tutted disapproval, “so I am planting the nuts when four of the Green Un’s wandered by, so I started to listen to the conversation as you do”

“So what did you learn?”, my arms folded in despair at this stage.

“Well they said that Deaf Ra wanted to get to that Sushi Restaurant in Thetford by 2050, not sure how deaf Ra is or who Ra is but sounded important”

“Sushi Restaurant??”

“Yes Net Zero……by ten minutes to nine, they mentioned they wanted to talk to Effin C about trees, not nice way to talk about someone who likes trees”

“Whoa…..Deaf Ra, that’s Defra, Government Department, Effin C that’s the Forestry Commission, and Net Zero isn’t a restaurant, you don’t hear well do you?”

“I hear well I just don’t listen good, bit like humans”, he looked at me accusingly, “so they said Net Zero was to do with Climate Change which I am interested in as apparently it affects biodiversity and that’s me, plus hotter summers are not good at the top of the tree,  that factor 50 plays havoc with me fur, get it on the paws and I am down that tree quicker than Fireman Sam down a pole.”

He took a deep breath, “so then they talked about NBS I thought I know that one…….Normal Bull Sh…”

“Whoa……Nature Based Solutions”

He looked annoyed and with an wagging paw pointed firmly in my direction said, “see there is the problem, you lot have a huge voc…..vocab…..big book full of words, I can’t say vocabulary it’s the teeth, and you use letters all the time, and jargon, eco this and that no wonder you have so many misunderstandings.”

I was speechless.

“So they kept talking about how individuals can help achieve a lot of this stuff, so I thought I am a nature based solution to climate change, so there you go that’s how they made me do it”

“Let me get this straight an overheard conversation about climate change lead you to be a vandal and a thief”


“Ok”, I said, “what is that over there?,” pointing to the vandalised climbing frame.


“And what is that?” pointing to the rolled up netting on the ground

“BIODIVERSITY NET GAIN”, with which he  gave a flick of his tail and walked off!!!

So if you do go down to the woods today it’s not the Teddy Bears Picnic that you want to watch out for!