The Independent Blog

The Independent Blog: Stop Bugging Me! Or is it time to reconsider our relationship with insects?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in The Independent Blog | 0 comments

Buzzing in your ear, crawling over your skin, coiled in your boot or lying drunken in a woozy cloud of rotten apples. It takes a particular personality to appreciate the virtues of our six and eight-legged neighbours. Invertebrates; the be-fanged, haired, spiked or suckered beasties, are the making of horror films and the base of a multi-million pound extermination industry. Between 2006 and 2007, for example the equivalent of £6,940,276,000 of insecticides was poured over crops around the world (EPA, 2011). But in the natural world everything has a purpose. We may delight in ridding these...

Read More

The Independent Blog: A stitch in time for the Ozone Hole, a cause for celebration?

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in The Independent Blog | 0 comments

As I wake up inside our puffy down-feather sleeping bag, the body aches from running a marathon yesterday and the mind aches with the reality that Katharine, my fellow adventure runner and I will do it again today and tomorrow too. We are running the length of South America in a year, hauling our trailer as we run to raise awareness of the threatened wild places and wildlife here. Our bodies need more rest, but whether or not we deserve it is irrelevant, we have to get out and take down our expedition tent. I have the voice of Petra Hilleberg our tent manufacturer ringing in my ears, “Be...

Read More

The Independent Blog: A chance meeting with the “Earth People” of Patagonia

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in The Independent Blog | 0 comments

Patagonia is a fabled land of staggering proportions, pristine beauty and hidden treasures. A landscape which haunts your childhood dreams, where fairies and magicians creep. Since the first day of the London Olympics, my husband David and I have been winding through its forests and endless pampas on a running expedition from the southern-most tip of South America to the Caribbean Sea;www.5000mileproject.org, “Running for the continent’s wild lands and wildlife”. Recently we met with some most unusual Patagonians… Please click here to read the...

Read More

Independent Blog: The Carretera Austral; Can it really be “improved”?

Posted by on Nov 1, 2012 in The Independent Blog | 0 comments

We’re Ecologists. Ecologists don’t like roads. Yet here we find ourselves running over 5000 miles all points north along every conceivable road that South America can throw at us. We started on an ice rink, slipping and sliding over frozen snow through blizzards and hail-storms in southern Patagonia. Then we found gravel, pot-holes, precipitous drops and tortuous hills. We’ ve run over 1,100 miles of our… Please click here to read the...

Read More

When is a wood not a wood?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in The Independent Blog | 0 comments

We have all been taught the merits of planting trees. One by one, “The Man Who Planted Trees” popped fat acorns into the bare hill sides of Provence in Jean Giono’s spirtual tale. Gradually the shepherd created a forest in a beautiful allegory of hope. Chile, the country in which we are doing our5000mileproject.org run is currently shrouded in forests, from its mystical “Tolkienesque” southern temperate rainforests to its comical stands of Araucaria or monkey-puzzle trees. Indeed of the 75 million hectares of land that comprises this thin slice of a country, approximately 21 % is...

Read More

The Independent Blog:Shoots of Recovery in Patagonia After a Century of Over-Grazing

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Conservacion Patagonica, The Independent Blog | 0 comments

If you were to consider man’s impact on the natural world, it would perhaps begin with industrialisation. Hot-footed in its path would follow a tangle of pollution, booming populations, intensive agriculture and over-consumption. During the past 700 miles of our 5000mileproject odyssey…. Please click here for the...

Read More