Another missive from the front line of the green movement. For all you non-adherents out there, the Green Glossary is a guide to bluffing your way through any conversation with an over-zealous, greeny-type. This week is brought to you by the letter ‘B’:
Badger, (n) – Pied mustelid with a tendency to evoke very black and white opinions. The truth is somewhere in the grey.
Bagshall, Steve – Musclebound pin-up that even the most misanthropic and cynical of Greenies (i.e. me) can’t help but like. Created with the soul purpose of seducing the more superficially-minded to the cause. Like a sexy apostle.
Baker, Nick – Bug bothering Baker badgers beetles, beleaguers bees and besieges butterflies.
Ban, (v) – The primary aim of the majority of Green endeavours is to ban or restrict any activity taking place in the countryside before they started to take an interest in it. If the activity is largely the preserve of individuals with more money and opposing political convictions, then all the better.
Bats, (n) – A bulwark against frivolous developments which unfortunately often offers all the protection of a wet meringue.
Beaver, (n) – The magic bullet that will cure all the ills and problems of conservation north of the border. Possibly by flooding out The Enemy. Causes some outsiders to giggle uncontrollably – See also; Blue Tit, Shag.
Bee, (n) – A fuzzy little black canary in the mine and insect du jour.
Bicycle, (n) – Essential mode of transport for all followers. Those in the movement who do not own a bicycle are looked on as degenerates, heretics and outcasts.
Bierce, Ambrose – Time-travelling, plagiarizing bastard
Birch, (n, v) – A tree even you can identify. The branches are apparently useful for hitting people with. Rumour has it that some followers of the movement gather under a full moon and self-flagellate with birch branches in an act of penance for every act of consumerism or litre of petrol purchased.
Birds, (n) – The C of E of the Green religion.
Biodiversity, (n) – A word to be sprinkled liberally throughout any communique, official document or propaganda piece. Preferably in at least every third sentence. No one really knows what it means.
Bittern, (n) – A bird that can’t be mentioned without someone, somewhere saying ‘Booooooooom’.
Blackthorn, (n) – A spiky bastard.
Blog, (n, v) – An obligatory extra curricular activity for all serious practitioners of the faith. A platform to yell into the void all that distresses and enraptures. A form of therapy that fills much the same role as the confessional booth.
Blue Tit, (n) – A perfectly sensible name for a bird that for some reason provides an endless source of amusement to the likes of you.
Buddleia, (n) – An admirably hardy invasive. Laughingly promoted as ‘butterfly bush’ by shameless garden centre salesmen everywhere. The butterflies remain oblivious to the fact the buddleia has been supplied specifically for their enjoyment and studiously ignore it.
Budget, (n) – A mythical concept which serves the same purpose as Manna or Ambrosia in other religions. Some acquaintances swear they heard tales of a colleague of a friend of an associate in the sector who once had a budget, but no one has ever seen any concrete evidence of this.
Burning, (v) – Either an essential part of conservation land management or a dangerous and deleterious practice. To discern which camp a particular incident falls in, consult the size of the land manager’s bank balance.
Bracken, (n) – Annoyingly prevalent. There are some that believe a cross-section of the earth’s crust will show a thick bracken layer.
Bramble, (n) – A prickly bastard and bane of many a conservationist’s existence. Has often led to confused accusations of self-harm.
By-laws, (n) – Put in place for the likes of you, not for the likes of us.
Feel free to tweet any additions to next week’s #greenglossary, which will, in strict adherence to logic, cover the letter ‘C’.