Yesterday I had to be in Limburg for a rugby game. I used this opportunity to go for a walk with my camera, as in this province relatively large patches of nature can still be found. Many of these are part of the Natura 2000 network. This is the world largest network of protected areas, covering 18% of the European Union’s land area and 6% of its marine territory. These sites are strictly protected, our at least theoretically… While photographing, I was all of a sudden approached by a guy from a private security company. The following conversation took place:
The guy: “What are we doing?”
Me: “I’m photographing an empty bird nest.”
The guy didn’t answer. Silence continues…
Me: “I believe that is allowed, right?”
The guy (while pointing backwards): “Yes, as long as you don’t take any pictures from this.”
Me: “Ohh, I’m not going to get inside or anything, that was not my idea”
The guy gets back in his car and leaves. Why would this particular company, H. Essers, become nervous of me taking photographs of a forest near their company? Would they be a bit anxious from the public opinion? I look to the trucks at the other side of the fence, apparently protected on a 24 hours basis. I wonder how it would be if natural areas would have their private security guards, in stead of a theoretical legal framework to protect them. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important that we finally have a legal framework to conserve nature. Now we just need a minister that understands this framework, the term “scientific evidence” and if possible, uses both of them in decision making. But anyway, here is the bird nest:
I continued my walk in the forest and imagined how this same place would look like when all colors and shapes would be replaced by a grey field of concrete. Oooh and yes, including 400 jobs, not to forget!
A reflection shows you things but you cannot get your hands on it, just as the forest in this reflection isn’t really there anymore if you think about it.
I strongly doubt if future generations will be happy with choices that are currently being taken. (For the non Dutch speaking readers: the text below the children in the picture above says “happy with you choice”.)
Night fell and I started getting back, while other animals just woke up.
I usually am quite happy when seeing my first Common toad (Bufo bufo) of the year. Last night however, I actually felt sorry for this little guy while looking at the illuminated advertising sign behind him. I really, really, really hope that in the next few years he will still be able to go out and search for a mate in this beautiful area. Unfortunately reality rarely shows mercy and a bright future seems to be very far away these days.