Immersed in a rather silent Spring, I have been climbing trees, watching the cherry blossoms and hearing no bees or other insects in them. German researchers studied that over three-quarters, 76% of the insects biomass declined and 80% of our butterflies are gone. The Silent Spring that Rachel Carson predicted in 1962 feels dauntingly close.

At the start of this specific Spring, I had been invited to participate during a five day workshop ‘Terranautica’ on how to create conditions conducive to wildlife. The Dutch water authorities (Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorder Kwartier) in the north of the Netherlands initiated this week to explore how to optimise (their) impact for biodiversity as they are one of the largest landowners in the area.

In the morning, I gave walking excursions in the high dunes of Schoorl. Here we shared silence, laughter and our deep loves where I talked about Drinkable Rivers. During the day, I participated together with 40 people culminating in presenting a manifest and roadmap to the directors. With two-third internal employees who initiated this bottom-up and with one-third external experts and stakeholders from the Province (Noord-Holland), forestry (Staatsbosbeheer), farmers associations, scientists, artists and creatives, other water authority De Dommel and other organisations like Stowa.

I feel grateful to have been part of this exciting and daring process on a subject that so urgently needs all the concretisation it can possibly get.

Now two weeks later after the event, it has finally rained. What a thirst quenched, what a joy. Watch the videoclip to get an impression of the dune walks and the co-creative five days. Together with the water authorities’ local ecologist, I will return to these dunes to prepare a public walking excursion in the near future for you all to be able to enjoy, stay tuned for that.