Name: Tom Bridge
What first triggered your interest in environmental issues?
I'm not sure what exactly triggered my interest in environmental issues, or indeed when it really developed. Certainly I have been aware of some matters for several years, however time constraints and other commitments effectively precluded any in-depth consideration or involvement. Now, due to having been prematurely retired, I am able to look into some issues more closely. My main concern is that of our wildlife, both the immediate and long term futures. I believe, sadly, that my children and grandchildren may miss out on so much if nothing is done to halt the decline in many species.
What are you working on, concerned by, or motivated by at the moment?
I have a reasonable, though not fanatical interest in wildlife, particularly birds. Over the years I have witnessed a steady drop in bird populations. Species that were once commonplace, are now considered rarities. As an example, I clearly recall the great pains my father had to go to in order to safeguard his precious garden seeds from marauding birds. He was justifiably proud of his garden and indeed won several prizes for his work. But the birds that caused much of his consternation, are often now, few and far between. I have also noted a decline in several animal species and this is sad. Hardly a day passes that we are not reminded of just how precarious a position we are in globally as well as locally. It is pleasing to note though, that there is hope in terms of the many organisations which are now in existence and are striving hard to redress the balance. however, I sometimes wonder if there may be TOO MANY organisations vying for public attention AND financial contributions. Resources are finite and we must bear that in mind.
What do you anticipate working on, or thinking about, in relation to environmental issues over the next 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?
I would like to do my 'bit'. I am aware that my contribution will obviously be limited. I cannot hope to have a great impact globally or even nationally. I can though, direct and focus my attentions in a practical way. I have chosen to do this specifically initially, primarily by helping the local wildlife. At present I am working towards creating a garden that will provide a safe and welcome refuge, particularly for the birdlife. I am a member of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, paying an annual subscription to help fund the valuable work they undertake. Moreover I have begun keeping records for the BTO Garden Birdwatching scheme. Again I also donate to this organisation on a twelve monthly basis. Being involved with these permits me to focus on doing something positive, and at the same time, enjoying what we are doing. I am hopeful that the above will provide me with a firm foundation to possibly continue with the work for some considerable time. Whether my involvement will extend to other areas in the future, may be a possibility.
How optimistic or pessimistic are you as you look at where we might be in 2020, and why?
Whilst I am by nature a somewhat pessimisic person, I do try to remain positive. I believe that attitudes are changing for the better in terms of the general population. However there are many social and political issues that I feel could possibly impede any progress globally. At a local level, I would hope for steady and positive progress, particularly in local matters. I live in hope.
The opinions expressed here are those of the respective posters and do not reflect those of the BBC or The Open University. The BBC and The Open University are not responsible for the content of external websites.