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Nature has far-reaching roots, not least the magnificent ash tree and its European mythology. Both could be lost to die-back

The Guardian Environment – George Monbiot – 12 October 2012

Ash trees by Grange Fell near Watendlath in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria

Reading the shocking news about ash die-back, the disease that has now killed most of Denmark’s ash trees and many of those across the rest of northern Europe, I was reminded that when we lose our wildlife we lose some of our stories.

The death of a species, especially a species as significant as the ash, punches a hole not only in nature, but also in our culture.

Throughout northern Europe, the ash tree was associated in pagan thought with the guardianship of life. As Paul Kendall explains on the Trees for Life site, in the mythology of the Vikings (and several other northern peoples), an ash known as yggdrasil or the “world tree” was the scaffolding on which the universe was built…. more http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2012/oct/12/wildlife-ash-tree-die-back

FOLLOW UP BLOG by George Monbiot : Let’s Rename The Ash Dieback ‘Cameron’s Contagion’ ” The government’s disgraceful failure to act on this disease reflects an ideological fixation with unimpeded commerce…

Unprecedented study:  Language and Culture Disappear with Ecosystem and Biodiversity Loss  http://sco.lt/8PcKsD

  VIDEO

“Ecology From The Air” – Seeing The Forests For The Trees

▶ HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS VITAL FOR BOTH HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH http://sco.lt/7rCeWH

 

 

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Could we be facing a future without birds? Our reliance on pesticides has cut a swathe through their numbers. We must act now, argues Kate Ravilious

Birds are a real rarity these days. In his boyhood, he recalls, he would watch the acrobatics of entire flocks as they ducked and dived after insects. But now the skies are silent, barring the hum of the odd airplane. Turning back to his fruit and vegetable patch, he continues the laborious task of pollinating the raspberry plants by hand, gently brushing pollen onto the slender stigmas inside the flowers. In the past, bees, wasps, butterflies and flies would have done this job for him; nowadays such insects are likewise a rarity. Farmers instead resort to robot bees to pollinate their crops: tiny motors, encased in fuzzy fabric, which hover from flower to flower….(more… None flew over the cuckoo’s nest: A world without birds – Nature, Environment – The Independent.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Why Starling fly, swoop in beautiful complex, coordinated patterns? @Telegraph http://ht.ly/39I9g

SEE ALSO: NATURE’S STARLING ‘BALLET’ in danger as bird population declines PHOTO – @Telegraph http://ht.ly/39I7x

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