I have recently joined a group of wildlife volunteers, a long overdue expression of my commitment to the environmental cause. The jobs are physical – coppicing trees, cutting back invasive bramble and thorn, and clearing ditches – and are aimed at enhancing wildlife habitats. The other volunteers have been working together for years and clearly enjoy each other’s company while doing something useful. Those feelings are contagious. It’s fun. But I’ve also found that this new contact with Nature, very different from walking and gardening, is teaching me some interesting lessons.

Most obviously, ...


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