Letter: Our sterile gardens
Monday 28 December 1998
In our desire to create the ideal home and garden, we have succeeded only in creating a barren and sterile environment. In urban and rural areas alike, we renovate and destroy. We remove food sources, safe shelter and potential nest sites. We use chemicals that kill.
A house I knew as a child had a large garden which provided food and cover enough for high-density populations of birds and mammals, both common and not so common. Even a hare reared her leverets there. But the place has been developed, the garden built upon, the outhouses converted. The birds and animals have gone.
By contrast, close by, and therefore subject to the same environmental factors (including predation), there is an unconverted farm. It has rambling buildings, barns and a large manure heap. It offers a constant source of food and shelter and remains a paradise for birds, predator and prey alike.
I am not advocating dilapidation of our gardens and houses, simply that we learn to remedy what we have destroyed. The nut-feeder and nest-box are no longer sufficient. We cannot remain complacent or shift the blame elsewhere. Predator and prey alike have an equal place and demand our attention and care.
Gargrave, North Yorkshire
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
The Independent Bath Literature Festival: 'Top Gear' makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells book festival
Stewart Lee: Beware - this man may be only joking
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
100 WEIRD YEARS
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Dear 'The Sun', breast cancer isn't sexy
- 4 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 5 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability