Saturday 25 February 2012: Consequences
I don't pretend to myself that there is any true wilderness left on our small, crowded island. Indeed, much of what I seek to convey with a camera in the hills is how it feels to be human among this landscape. Without human activity 'wild' areas would appear very very different. And might I venture, less beautiful to the tastes of many. It is nevertheless a bit of a shock to come across such a highway built high in the fells. It jolts rather. It seems unashamedly tamed. Yet the previous scars, which are healing only around the careful work of the pathbuilders, are still to be seen - huge and ugly. And in time this damage would change the mountain. And how can I comment? That I am here means I am a part of the problem, the cause of the damage. Not me alone maybe, but me among thousands, and who has the right more than any other to be here? Not me, for certain. My love of the place confers no special right. Yet if we scar and damage the mountain, does it care? No, it merely exists. Do the birds or the sheep care? Unlikely. So who cares? Only us humans. And so a human solution to a human problem in a landscape so influenced by humans as to hardly be wild at all. Only, we'd prefer to imagine it so, and so blatant a recognition of the contrary is uncomfortable.