With permission from the Head Teacher, today I took the kids out of school in order to spend the day filming a documentary about one company’s efforts to tackle manmade climate change (for The Daily Telegraph). That company is Make it Wild.

We were up in Nidderdale, near Summerbridge. It’s gorgeous up there. Had Wainwright written about Nidderdale, then the world would know Nidderdale. Perhaps this is a good thing. Tourism is like a spark: if used correctly it can heat your home and cook your dinner. Used incorrectly, it can burn your house down.

Having volunteered with Make it Wild before – planting dozens of trees – and having secured a sponsorship deal with them for 1,500 trees for Truth Legal to offset my firm’s environmental impact.

I know and like this family firm: the Neaves. The world needs more Neaves. Bold, caring philanthropists – people who don’t wait for governments to take action: they lead. Whilst the rain beat down on me and the kids, with the camera crew filming as we planted more trees, I answered the director’s questions.

  • Why are you concerned about biodiversity?
  • How can planting trees reduce climate change?
  • Why do you volunteer with Make it Wild?
  • What do your children make of it all? Etc, etc

Without preparation, I candidly answered, with everyone listening to my every utterance. The director asked me those questions several times. Each time he did, for reasons unknown, I gave a different answer, and of different lengths. With some of my rambling answers, I had to stop myself – so incoherent were they. Sometimes what I said – even though I was being as precise as I could – was incredibly inaccurate. Many times, I had to start my answer again. Even trying my best, in a relaxed, delightful environment, my answers to the same question, were erratic. Odd.

Lesson learned: in future, when some politician or celeb is supposed to have said this or that and got into hot water for it, even if that’s what they said, I’m going to extend them some latitude. They probably didn’t choose the rights words and only had one shot at it. Let’s extend some grace to people who may have misspoke.

In contrast, when judging someone by their measured writing, such latitude need not be extended.