The re-introduction of the red kite to England and Wales is one of the most successful conservation stories of recent times. On this day, twenty-five years ago, five birds were released into the Chilterns. Over the years a total of 93 birds from Spain, Germany and Sweden have been released into the wild (I don’t have the figures for Wales) and it is from them that the current-day population stems. The wheeeling flight of the red kite, with its magnificent chestnut plumage and elegantly forked tail, is now a common sight in the skies of Oxfordshire and adjacent counties. In Wales, the Elan Valley remains my site of choice for viewing these wonderful creatures.
It is tempting to see the world as full of nothing but death and disaster, and while I would not wish to pretend that everything is as it should be or that we can safely ignore what is going on around us, I would still want to say, ‘Look up; look out; see the beauty that surrounds us, and give thanks.’