As a Biologist I am dismayed by the destruction of nature I have witnessed in my own lifetime.
As a boy I played in the fields and meadows, collected frogspawn from the ponds and snakes, lizards and slowworms from the heaths.
The meadows were awash with colour, adorned with all manner of flowers. When you lay back in the long grass there was a buzz of insects, a multitude of bees attended the blossoms, grasshoppers stridulated, beetles crawled through the undergrowth. golden eyed, luminescent green lacewings flew by, hoverflies wavered in the air, butterflies of all hues bobbed over the fields. In the air above house martins, swallows and swifts zipped and soared. The swifts shrieking in delight as they fed off the abundant insects. A journey in the car resulted in a splattered windscreen. Clouds of insects hung in the air around lamps.
The streams were alive with red throated stickle-backs that darted from cover to cover. The ponds were full of globes of frogspawn each spring. Thick with pond weed in which the newts and frogs sheltered.
The heath rustled as lizards and snakes darted into the dry undergrowth. We'd dive and catch them. We'd move the old corrugated iron and collect the grass snakes and slowworms.
I dug a big pit at home with a pond in which I kept my creatures.
Every year we'd collect the Puss Moth caterpillars and Poplar and Eyed Hawk moth caterpillars from the poplars and willow, Drinker Moths from the grass, and Privet Hawk Moth caterpillars from the privet hedges. I'd rear them to moths and release them.
I'd breed the voles, rear the tadpoles to frogs and toads, and delight in nature.
Back then I did not realise that even that was just a mere vestige of what once had been. Back in the days of King Harold - 1066 - England had been one vast forest full of bears, wolves, beavers, otters and wild boar. When Harold marched to and from Stamford Bridge to first defeat Harold Hardrarda and then lose to William they travelled through trails in the forests not roads. I doubt they saw the sky. Those forests were cleared and the animals that lived there in abundance destroyed with them. I lived in the green patchwork fields that were a desert compared to before. Yet they were still full with that rump of life.
In my lifetime the decline has been rapid. The fields no longer buzz, crawl or bob with insects. The car no longer gets splattered. The skies are not full of swifts. The streams are either culverted, polluted with farm run-off and stagnant, devoid of darting fish, the ponds are devoid of newt, frog or spawn. The heaths no longer rustle with lizards and snakes. Hedgehogs are no longer squashed on the road. They have all become rarities. No longer do little boys go collected their frogspawn or jars of fish or hunting lizard and snake. The butterfly nets are a thing of the past. Those creatures, once abundant, are not to be easily found.
Yet people still tell me that I am wrong. We are not destroying nature. No animals are being pushed to extinction.
The evidence of my own eyes both in England and across the world is a lie. The scare stories are being manufactured for obscure reasons.
I despair. I do not believe people care.