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Meg Beresford tells how she was inspired to make a cross-country trek to highlight threats to Nature.

The idea came after a walk on a warm sunny afternoon in south Edinburgh early last June. My companion and I enjoyed passing gardens blooming with flowers, but climbing up Blackford Hill, which was covered with flowering broom and gorse, something seemed wrong. I asked my companion how many bees and butterflies he had seen. He answered: “None.”

That walk confirmed what I had experienced in September 2014, when I went to my Aunt Eliza’s funeral in Wiltshire. One day on this trip back to southern England, we visited our old farm on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

When we moved there in the late 1940s, the permanent pasture fields and ancient drove roads were hedged with wayfarer trees and carpeted with wild flowers and abuzz with bees, butterflies, dragonflies: insects of all kinds. But now it is a silent landscape, with few birds, animals or flying insects. The hedges have been replaced by fences enclosing 40-acre fields; the drove roads are all gone. And on our old farm there were no cows or sheep, no chickens and no farm workers. Just contractors… This change left me feeling bereft and worried………..

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