Saturday, 10 March 2012
Making Reality Fit The Ideology
There’s evidence at various points that SWT’s occasional forays into the woodland of Blacka are leaving their ideological mark. It shows itself in the form of tree stumps and tidy piles of chain sawn timber. They want us to know they have been here. Ideology is a theory or set of beliefs. It can be something you genuinely believe in or it can be something you persuade yourself to believe in because it justifies what serves your own interests best.
Sheffield Wildlife Trust, like other self serving UK conservation charities subscribes to the ideology that the most significant thing about Britain is that it is all a managed landscape and must evermore continue to be so. In this they are supported and encouraged by the largely unreachable and unscrutinised Natural England which has its headquarters up in the clouds somewhere not far from Paradise (that’s Paradise Square Sheffield – actually in the Cathedral Close).
The trick for promoting this ideology is to find anywhere that is not predominantly managed – or has broken the rules and gone against the orders to become natural or somewhat wild – and bring it to heel as you would an errant pet. But it’s not enough just to do this. You must draw attention to your actions and consolidate the ideology by making reality fit the ideology. You can then go on reminding yourself of the ‘truth’ of this ideology and try to forget that you’ve actually made it all up. That’s what happens when they thin out the trees on Bole Hill.