With all the gloom and doom around, it is a pleasure to record some good news. Some white stork chicks have hatched in a nest on the Knepp Estate near Horsham in West Sussex.
At first blush, this news was worth a shrug of the shoulders. That’s nature. However, it is actually a momentous event, the first time that baby white storks have been born in the wild in the UK in centuries, the last recorded instance being from 1416 when a pair of white storks were found nesting on the roof of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. It seems that since then they have been too busy delivering other people’s babies to bother about their own.
The White Stork Project hope to have established over 50 breeding pairs of white storks in southern England by 2030. The co-owner of the estate, the appropriately named Isabella Tree, cooed, “when I hear that clattering sound now, coming from the tops of our oak trees where they’re currently nesting at Knepp, it feels like a sound from the Middle Ages has come back”.
I wish them every success.