I have been away with my family, and for the time being this is a one man show. I am hoping that as restrictions on travel list, it might become a bigger enterprise – with your support. We have some wildlife destinations already listed but hope to greatly expand this.
Our holiday was in Devon in the south west of the UK, close to the river otter.
This river is famous in the UK as back in 2008 a family of beavers appeared. They became quite a popular attraction.
The government then declared that the beavers must be captured. Complaints were made and each foolish argument was dismissed (beavers will damage the river – being native they wont, ecosystems have not changed that much over the last few centuries). Eventually it was agreed that they would be captured and tested, if they proved to be carrying no parasites or illnesses, they could be returned to the wild.
As expected, they were perfectly healthy and were returned after a short absence.
They have been closely monitored over the first 5 years, and then a further 5 years, when they were given the right to remain. Over that decade the population increased dramatically, with now thought to be around 150 beavers living in the river ecosystem.
They are a fascinating species to watch.
I have two children, a girl of 8 and a boy of 6. We had a number of trips to the river as a family spending perhaps an hour or two watching them. The last night I returned just with my daughter and we spent perhaps 30 minutes or more watching a beaver having a feast.
One of the long-term aims of the website apart from wild destinations around the planet (imaginatively called wild places) is to list wildlife living alongside humans. Whether the animals live on farmland, or road verges or in the countryside around peoples houses, these animals often cause problems for their human neighbours. Farmers can suffer predation of their livestock, and even without predation, they can worry continually.
The thing is, that generally farmers like the wilderness. They do not want to have to kill wildlife, and “in the shadow of mankind” is an attempt to help that.
“In the shadow of man” works on a simple basis. The aim is to give hosts of wildlife an extra source of income, either to offset the costs of occasional problems or indeed simply as an extra source of income.
Whether the hosts offer accommodation, somewhere to camp, or a meal at a restaurant, or a drive/walk to see the wildlife that is there to be seen, the idea is that the host can get some extra money and give the visitors a chance enjoy an incredible wildlife encounter.
Please watch, I hope to add the beavers in the next few months, and hopefully build fast from then on. If you visit somewhere where they are sharing their space with wildlife, do suggest that they look us up. Do help, I cannot list the worlds wilds on my own. However, I believe with your help this can be a real force for good.
In a decade, we hope that when you are travelling, regardless of what your main holiday purpose is, there will be a wild encounter close by and you can help support the future of the natural world.