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Aubrey manning

A Lifetime in Conservation

Although immensely frustrated by the reckless degradation of wildlife habitats and the wider environment, Manning remains ‘a fan of the human species’ and is convinced that we can find a better balance with nature. “I always think of the words Plato ascribed to Socrates: ‘Without love there is no wisdom, only learning’ and we have to learn to love the natural world,” he says.

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Sam at hadfast22low

Life at the Sharp End

Sam and his volunteers don’t measure their rewards for all this hard work in currency. United by a common passion for wildlife they endure long days in all weathers to get a glimpse into hidden worlds: a newt, a rare orchid, an adder curled up in the sun.

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The Green Farmer

“Being lucky enough to own land has given me a sense of moral duty to look after it…I do genuinely believe that we are guardians of what we have got.”

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Two of a Kind

As well as their climbing achievements their story is one of an extraordinary 47 year friendship that defied the rigid class conventions of Victorian Britain. Despite their different backgrounds they were bound, like the rope that they slung between them, by a common love of Skye’s wildest places. Collie may have climbed in the Alps, Norway, the Himalayas and the Canadian Rockies but it was Skye and the memory of his friendship with Mackenzie that he would return to at the end his life.

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The Wonder of Moss

The more Sara looked into mosses and lichens, the more fascinated she became by their story of dogged survival in the smallest of ecological niches. “When you focus on just one part of the ecosystem you realise that it has its own world to it,” she told me. “It may not have the drama of the African savanna but it is no less important.”

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