You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
You can find inspiration anywhere. To illustrate that I'm going to have to share a guilty secret: Sometimes I find myself watching repeats on more4.
I know it's fashionable to have not switched the TV on for ages, to not know that 24 hours in A and E is on on channel 4 at nine o clock on Wednesdays. Interesting people certainly don't glimpse snatches of Come Dine with Me as they flick for something worth watching. The thing is though; having a child under four is tiring and sometimes some boring telly is just what's in order to wind down and get a decent night's sleep.
So it was in this way that I found myself watching an old Grand Designs. Now, this isn't something I'd usually watch. All the couples followed seem to build the same house be it in the middle of London or the rolling Cotswold hills. Square boxes made of grey steel with wooden slats stuck to the outside. Usually built in to a hill side or alongside a traditional building. Floor to ceiling windows are a must, as are spiral staircases and open plan 'living spaces'. This time however was different and I soon became glued.
Ed and Rowena live on their small holding with their four children; eight acres of south facing land in the hills of Herefordshire, which makes for pretty spectacular views. They aren't rich and scraped together the money for the land and their £80,000 budget for building their house from savings. Ed works as a country estate manager so isn't in the big bucks. But they have an aim and that is to be as self-sufficient as possible; year–by–year they get closer to their goal.
You'll have to watch the episode to get the full measure of the patience, diligence and dedication that Ed and Rowena take to their task (http://bit.ly/oBs1jW.) Not one furrow in either brow. Through inclement weather, money difficulties, pressure from the children, all remains calm. They let Kevin McCloud do all the worrying for them with his chirpy asides to camera and his modern ways. So, Ed and Rowena were an inspiration. An inspiration to carry on doing what you do because you see the need, and because that's the kind of world you want to live in. They are thinkers, but also do-ers.
Perhaps it's the do-ers that we are looking for to enter the RSPB in the easts Stepping Up for Nature awards (www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup/do). We want to hear about the people that have decided to get out there and do something to save nature and our wildlife. There are six categories to enter and you can either nominate yourself or someone else for the awards. We think showcasing the 'do-ers' might go some way in helping others Step Up and start 'doiung' themselves. Go on, help us in our cause.