PORINGLAND LAKES

The Green Heart of Poringland

NATURE NOTES by Reg Snook

Reg Snook is one of Suffolk’s leading ornithologists and award winning author.  Co-founder of the Suffolk Ornithological Group, he was a wildlife inspector for DEFRA for 29 years, specialising in birds of prey.

Reg writes regular 'jottings' about wildlife activity in and around Ipswich and his studio in Grundisburgh.  

Whilst his writing concentrates on predominantly local events, often these reflect on more general aspects of wildlife.

Reg has kindly given exclusive permission  for Poringland Lakes to include extracts from his jottings on our website which is a real coup.  We think you will find them interesting and informative reading!

For more information about Reg and his work, please click on   www.regsnook.co.uk

Nature Culled  

I have discovered this week that not are we only losing our songbirds but we are also losing words which are synonymous with the countryside.

I am reading an excellent book entitled ‘Landmarks’ by Robert McParland which was number one in the Sunday Times best-seller listing.  McParland is fascinated by connections between literature and landscape and his book explores the linguistic and literary terrain all over Britain.

One astonishing paragraph commented on the Oxford Junior Dictionary because a sharp-eyed reader had noticed that there had been a cutting or words connected to nature.

Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of words that it felt were no longer relevant to modern day childhood.

The deletions included: acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture and willow.

The words introduced in the new edition include: attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet point, celebrity, chat room, cut and paste, MP3 player and voice mail.  

When the Head of Children’s Dictionaries at Oxford University Press was asked why nature words had been deleted, she explained that the dictionary needed to reflect the consensus experience of modern day childhood because nowadays the environment has changed.

How sad therefore that the majority of children apparently no longer note the changes of season or indeed have any idea of the rural environment.

“Mummy, where does meat come from?”  “From a supermarket of course!”