Country Corner

The glory of a Burnished Brass moth
The glory of a Burnished Brass moth

No, I haven’t been playing with photoshop! Burnished Brass moths really do look like this.

They reflect sunlight like a mirror and look as if they have been dipped in molten gold and polished for hours!

I hate to talk of declines in wildlife, as it can appear we have nothing left to fight for.

Thankfully, Burnished Brass, with it’s amazing gilt scales and tufted adornments, is still a fairly common moth.

However, like so many of our moth species it has declined drastically on a national scale. I was recently reminded of the attitude which has driven so many of these declines.

Reading of the much vaunted high speed rail link which it is proposed to bulldoze through much of rural England, I was astounded to read the following.

Apparently it will be all right to decimate many of our last remnants of natural native forest as we will plant the equivalent acreage of trees elsewhere! This just goes to show that many of our planners see woodland as no more than a stand of trees.

How do you start to explain to such people the complexity of interdependant organisms, from the smallest mites to the mightiest oaks?

We do not even know the full extent of this web of relationships. Many of the microscopic components of this web are still unknown to science. To imagine that we have the knowledge or skill to replace such an ecosystem is an unholy alliance of arrogance and ignorance.

You might as well ask a commitee of scientists, engineers and planners to make you a Burnished Brass moth!

Like all species, we cannot make them, we cannot replace them, and we cannot assume the right the right to destroy them.

Not only does the Burnished Brass glisten like gold, it is vastly more qualified to be assigned great value than a shiny piece of metal!

When, oh when, will we get our priorities right?