From: Martyn L Scargill, Kilham, East Yorkshire.
I WRITE in reply to your correspondent Mr Bricklebank from Foston (Yorkshire Post, December 8). Perhaps that “tinkering with wildlife” as he calls it would not have been so vitally necessary nowadays, were it not for the destructive and short-sighted actions of the human race in this country and the world over. It became particularly bad here during the Second World War as terrible pressures were put upon the countryside by the “War-Ag”.
Well wartime was one thing, but the obsession for factory farming did not need to be continued for all time. It only persisted because of a decision by the leftist government at the time. That administration was soon voted out, but the incoming Tory régime, as per usual, just did not have the bottle to throw it out, with the result that now we must take measures to save wildlife before we lose it altogether, and cease at once any further degradation of our formerly priceless and rich landscape and heritage.
Intensive agricultural practices have played havoc with the landscape and the flora and fauna that existed within it. I realise that many people are now working very hard to restore the countryside, like many of the farming families featured in your farming pages, but it needs to be much more general and expansive.
Problems for wildlife are further exacerbated by the paranoia for crazy building schemes constantly in the news, created by unbelievably myopic people in high places who wish to see our land covered by an unending sea of bricks, mortar and roads. Speaking of roads, because of uncaring drivers, these pose a major threat to animals, as you see on every trip out.
Birds of prey are often blamed for killing smaller creatures, but there would have been plenty around for them before man upset all the balance. Additionally, there has always been the problem of trigger-happy landowners who blast anything that moves. Many species are now protected but just how safe are they from these people? I have no objections to the shooting of game for food.
Yes, the preservation and re-planting of habitat such as spinneys, thickets, hedgerows and marshland is of paramount importance for the preservation of wildlife, and also, as surely anyone can see, the joy, happiness and well-being of our own species.
The countryside must never become a sterile and dreary factory floor merely to support unchecked increases in the human population.
People who have no regard for creatures on this earth apparently don’t realise that without diversity man himself cannot survive.
High rainfall in Britain is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Notice the panic if we ever have a few days without any! It is man’s abuse that causes the problems, such as building upon flood plains and “tinkering” with the natural order of things.
Which brings me round full circle. If we had more wildflower meadows, woodlands, and less barley and concrete, then Mr Bricklebank would perhaps have less need to worry about the flood levels in Holderness and elsewhere.
And yes, we would have more balance.