Unusually I didn’t have meetings in the morning, so I headed for the Lido on the Serpentine. Delicious ‘pain au chocolat’ and not such a delicious organic orange juice for breakfast, whilst reading Rosie Boycott’s Our Farm, published earlier this month.
A man approached me saying something about the child he was carrying not being his. I was a little baffled until I recognised Piers Russell-Cobb, who is a friend I haven’t seen for a long time. He was also enjoying the beautiful sunny morning. He told me his office was close by, so I suspect this is not the first time he’s absconded to the park! The baby he had been holding belonged to Eric Bettleheim, whose wife was with Piers. I never knew Eric very well and haven’t seen him for a long time but bizarrely his name came up again later in the day. He’s involved in sustainable forestry and carbon sequestration projects – as Executive Chairman of Sustainable Forestry Management.
I headed off for a lunch meeting at Marks & Spencer. Went to talk to Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, about Plan A and how they are meeting their targets.
Across the park again to the House of Commons. Drinks on the terrace overlooking the Thames with Peter Ainsworth MP, Conservative Shadow Environment Minister and Steve Hilton (David Cameron’s right hand man). Covered a wide range of topics but I always have a feeling with meetings of this sort that there’s something really important I’ve forgotten to mention. A couple of days ago I met Chris Huhne the Lib Dem Shadow Environment Minister at a talk he did in Ilminster. What I find encouraging is that politicians don’t need persuading that environment should be high on their agenda, the issue is how best to respond…