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Dark Puss

"... allowing them to experience the natural world their (great-)grandparents would have known, decades ago."

Well perhaps but do remember that a range of toxic chemicals were used by our orchard loving grandparents to control blight, lichen growth, moth larvae (Lead arsenate (PbHAsO4) was first used in apple orchards in the 1890's to control codling moth) etc. and that it was absolutely a given that flocks of bullfinches would be mercilessly shot (my mother certainly witnessed this) on sight when seeking the buds of apples etc. I do hope this book paints a realistic picture of pre-WW2 orchards as well as acknowledging how much has been lost.

Removing lead and arsenic from the contaminated soil of old orchards is a surprisingly common requirement!


Yes indeed, 'old' methods are not necessarily 'best' methods, and the book certainly mentions the bullfinches as you describe. The broader point is, as we're nowadays familiar with in the context of meadows and traditional hedgerows, for instance, how modern farming and land management methods have on the whole contributed to loss of habitat and loss of species. The other side of the coin is of course the need to grow sufficient (affordable) food and provide farmers with a living, and there is a difficult balance to be struck.

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