Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

For sale, birthplace of one of the worlds most celebrated naturalists - but does anyone care?

Kensington House near Llanbadoc Church, Usk the birthplace of Alfred Russel Wallace a world renowned Victorian naturalist accredited with independently developing the theory of natural selection at the same time as Charles Darwin, is on the market and crying out to be snapped up for the nation. Given the global significance of Welshman Wallace and his extensive body of work from travels around the world you would expect those entrusted with the conservation of our built heritage to be fighting to save it for future generations, but not a bit of it! CADW has refused to list the building citing modifications as a reason for sitting on its hands- although there are examples of other modified buildings listed by the same body. So what about the National Trust? Well no luck here either as apparently it doesn't meet its acquisition policy. Seems to me that if Kensington House were a castle, a building with links to royalty or a relic from the industrial revolution then you're quids in but the birthplace of a man motivated by the study of the natural world then there's no chance. For more see

Finally an apt quote from Wallace:
'If this is not done, future ages will certainly look back upon us as a people so immersed in the pursuit of wealth as to be blind to higher considerations'.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that Wallace often criticised the "pursuit of wealth" and it's effects on the natural world, here's another ARW quote: "The struggle for wealth...has been accompanied by a reckless destruction of the stored-up products of nature, which is even more deplorable because more irretrievable. Not only have forest-growths of many hundreds of years been cleared away, often with disastrous consequences, but the whole of the mineral treasures of the earth's surface, the slow products of long-past eons of time and geological change, have been and are still being exhausted, to an extent never before approached, and probably not equalled in amount during the whole preceding period of human history."
    Prophetic indeed; Over a century later the capitalist system continues to ravage our planet. L


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