FOR years I have enjoyed the changing seasons of the riverbank at Broken Scar, on the outskirts of Darlington.

The wildlife habitat there supports all kinds of butterflies, bees and other insects.

Today, it looks like nothing more than an unkempt football field.

All gone, stripped back by machinery, and looking neat, yes, but so lifeless.

No doubt the farmer had good economic reason, but some losses cannot be calculated, and the natural world just got less so.

Alexandra Bailey, Darlington