Letter of the monthIrish and Dutch natives I was staggered to read the comments by the Irish and Dutch trampers that ‘there are no natives’ in their home countries (‘Editorial’, September 2018). No natural woodlands, either. It’s sad, because it’s not true. In Amsterdam, I saw many great crested grebes. Also coots, various finches, woodhens and waterhens. Sure, no endemics as we perceive them, but the Netherlands is part of a huge continent which does have endemic species. I spent two hours on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland in the company of a birder and his scope a few years ago. Peregrines, choughs, puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes – 15 native bird species in all. Ireland, being an island, does have a few endemics, mostly small; they have some pretty fair woodlands, too. I wonder whether they simply have never been taught to see what’s around them? Time to take another look!
- Elizabeth Revell, email- Elizabeth receives a Biolite SunLight Compact Solar Light worth $39.99 from www.ampro.co.nz. Readers, send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win. Bibles in huts Regarding the online story ‘Ban Bibles in huts’, walking and tramping in New Zealand is an absolute gift. The peace and tranquillity found in the bush, the sounds of the birds or water running in a stream present a bouquet of tactile experiences. After each tramp I will often talk with my wife about what I learnt on each outing. Wilderness magazine has also become a treasure trove of experience and wisdom and we all learn essential skills reading it. However, reading this article left me saddened at the writer’s lack of respect for your Christian readers. Using the Bible as a firelighter or toilet paper is unacceptable and extremely offensive. This is not what I would expect from a respected publication such as Wilderness. It’s ironic that reading the pages of the Bible would introduce you to a man who loved to walk. Many thanks for an otherwise fantastic publication.
- Alan Cook, emailI was genuinely surprised at Wilderness for publishing an article that rubbishes a book that many people hold in great esteem. This seems out of character for the magazine. Usually Wilderness is a breath of fresh air in an opinionated and subjective news scene. Would the same article be published if it were suggesting the Koran being useful for toilet paper? Anyway, thanks for the majority of quality articles that do stem from Wilderness.
- Erica Aarsen, emailRe, ‘Banning Bibles in huts’ – it sounds like a good idea to me! I have to admit to burning a Bible I found in a hut once. What a cheek Christians have in contaminating the bush with religious propaganda and advertising. The bush, I believe, is sacred for itself, not for having fairy tales and superstition linked to it.
- Stephen Conn, Nelson
Hunters aren’t weirdI’m an avid reader of Wilderness. Having a young family, my wife and I enjoy the articles about family trips as they have given us some great ideas. I am also a passionate hunter. I found the Trail Life comic ‘Top tips for an awesome backcountry hut experience’ referencing a gun-toting ‘hut weirdo’, offensive. I am rather tolerant of most things; this, however, annoyed me. Hunters receive a fair amount of bad press, mostly because there is a minority who spoil it for those of us who are sensible. I don’t think we need more negativity. I realise it was in jest, but most sensible firearm owners would be outraged with this sort of thing. A real disappointment in an otherwise fantastic magazine.
- Daniel Jordan, email