WAR TO WILDLIFE
"It is not an attempt at a history masters degree, it's a bloke giving a stuff about what went on over the other side of his hedge......"
Life changing events can take you in directions you never planned.......
Certainly taking time to explore the airfield of RAF Blakehill Farm, and selfishly draw some energy from its rich wildlife, virtual silence, mature oak trees and stunning sunsets, allows you time to reflect on your own place in the world and what you are going to leave behind.
Mourning the loss of loved ones is a heavy burden. Grief does funny things.
The day when I first finally started to understand the topography of the site, I stood on the exact spot where 8 Dakota aircraft and their crews flew from, never to return, along with countless glider infantry, as well as trying to understand the horrors that the 'flying nightingale' nursing orderlies went through. I imagined those left behind.
This experience literally brought me to my knees in tears.
This was shortly followed up by a visitor to the nature reserve, who commented to me, that it was a bit flat and boring to be considered a nature reserve and he was going back to his car. I pushed a photo of Blakehill from 1943 under his nose.
"My god" he said......... "I had no idea this ever existed.........."
This was the catalyst for the War To Wildlife project - to bring the story of RAF Blakehill to life, to add colour to the visitor experience and to ensure the memories of those brave men and women are never forgotten.
Working closely with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, my wife Georgina and I, spend many hours in monitoring the site, hosting guided walks and lectures, and ensuring that every visitor gets a chance to understand that from this Wiltshire field, so many lives were changed forever.
Forever lasts a long time - their memories will never fade.
Vince and Georgina Povey January 2017