James Carter's Letter

50 year old me,

You're reading this in 2055, sat in a park full of colour and life, or perhaps in an ancient woodland with dappled sunlight on the page. Or maybe you're by the sea, overlooking a stretch of pristine, clean sand and a pure, blue ocean. Wherever you are, all you can hear is the sound of nature: busy bees buzzing from flower to flower, a rich and complex tapestry of a dawn chorus, the shrieks of seabirds amongst the roaring waves.

Biodiversity in your world is more comparable to that of my great-grandparents than my own. Extinction is an extinct world, rare species are back from the brink, and new creatures call these islands our home. Lynx lurk in deep, dark forests and wolves roam high mountaintops. The last time you walked down by the river you saw a beaver, and on your next visit to a woodland you could even spot bison.

If you wanted, you could walk for miles on end without interruption, just like the herds of horses and cows roaming freely. Your landscapes are re-connected, not hemmed in by fences and walls, or blocked out by private estates. The ever-present mosaic of farmer's fields is not a desert for wildlife but an oasis. Generous wildflower margins are full of feeding birds, hedgerows are overflowing with growth, and the soil is rich and pure, not tainted by chemicals.

Now I'm no fortune teller, or time traveller, but I know this is what you'll find when you read this letter. I know we can make the ambitious changes required to achieve this vision because we must: we cannot afford to carry on with the status quo. I know we will put our best efforts into making these changes, because we must: we cannot afford to miss out on the benefits of a wilder world. And I know those efforts will be enough, because they must: the alternative doesn't even bear thinking about. I know that when you read this letter you will recognize everything I have said to be true, because without that hope, we will not act.

Love 18-year-old me.

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