2 October 2012

A Less Than Engaging Communities Officer

It is Red Squirrel Week this week, I think.

Scotland's conservation groups have taken it on board and are running 'walk with squirrels' events and 'count the greys in your garden' projects, but rifling through Google this weekend in preparation I couldn't find any firm dates or organising enthusiasm from English groups.

There is a red squirrel sanctuary on the Lancashire coast within driving distance of Garden65. I thought it would be nice to have a stroll amongst the little guys, say 'keep up the good work', and express my general largesse by buying a cup of coffee and a cake. True, I wasn't planning any sort of action that might involve shooting greys or chaining myself to railings, but a gentle expression of moral support seemed appropriate.

For what are Awareness weeks for but to raise awareness?

So, confused, I emailed the 'Red Squirrels Northern England' group asking if this was indeed Red Squirrel Week and if any leaflets or whatnot are being produced.  This is the answering email (name redacted, just like in the Leveson Inquiry):

Now, I know I'm being pernickety, and I realise it was Monday morning, and it was raining and grey outside, and 'Engaging Communities Officers' are paid minimum wage, and the plight of red squirrels lays heavy on the mind, and maybe there is only so much engaging with school kids a person can take, and I wasn't offering practical or financial help, but ... a firm 'Go Away' is a funny reply.

To be fair this group has undertaken a useful survey of reds in the north which shows they are more widespread than originally thought.

I know I am making a fuss, I hope you won't take my little rant seriously, it's just that I'm in need of a job, and engaging communities with troubled rodents seems a pleasant way of earning some pennies. I think I might have made a better hash of it.