The snowdrops have come. Traditionally, these "Candlemas Bells" are said to bloom by 2 February, when so many tenants begin a new agricultural year. Are snowdrops the last flower of winter or the first flower of spring? They seem to have a double aspect, like the two-faced Janus who gives January its name. To some they are harbingers of growth and renewal; in other traditions they portend disaster and bad luck.
A fitting emblem, then, for this newsletter. Does fracking (see Joanna Gliddon's article) promise growth or destruction? The consequences of CAP reform remain similarly uncertain (see Edmund Fetherston-Dilke's update). As other articles in this newsletter show, we can always rely on the law of unintended consequences to ensure that well-intentioned changes in the law have problematic implications for landowners.
So at least were my thoughts on pondering a clump of snowdrops.