Or countryside and its associated flora and fauna are mere shadows of their former glory. Over-intensive farming, habitat loss, unlimited use of chemicals and pesticides plus toxic vehicle and aircraft emissions all play their part.

Just one example of loss concerns our moth population. Moths play a key role pollinating crops and flowers by night but they are vanishing at an alarming rate.

Even thirty years ago, when opening my front door late on a summer's evening I would be greeted by a flurry of moths of all sizes and species attracted to my porch light.

Nowadays I'm fortunate to see one or at best two micro moths and an occasional old lady sheltering in a corner.

As a boy travelling to wildest Wales on holiday and when driving along ever-narrowing country lanes our car headlights would illuminate a veritable snowstorm of moths above glistening eyes of rabbits crouching by the roadside.

On a similar trip now there would be few insects to be seen.

After the second world war, motorists fitted square plastic discs to car bonnets to deflect airflow and moths over upright windscreens. These days there is no need for such discs as modern cars have acutely angled windscreens so insects are swept over the roof. But it does not matter anyway as there are so few insects about.

Over a third of our food crops are pollinated by bees, moths and assorted insects. Last year even wasps, hoverflies and some species of butterflies were scarce.

A sad state of affairs that highlights the plight of much of our wildlife within the past forty years.

Oh yes. That 'old lady' sheltering in my porch is a large rather drab species of moth.