SIR – I AM a teacher in Switzerland working with youngsters from socially disadvantaged areas, people with mental health difficulties and special needs. I have noticed how they respond positively to working in nature on the land, calming, de-stressing and earthing them.
As a regular visitor to Ireland, particularly West Cork, I have noticed the countryside looking more depleted, jaded and barren, with less hedgerows, wildness and more toxicity in the land as a result of chemical weedkillers, pesticides and herbicides.
I just wonder why landowners choose to use these toxic chemicals on the land causing such devastating effects on biodiversity of flora and fauna, rather than manually and intelligently dealing with natural obstacles with labour?
Could we employ the wayward youth, the idle, the people with mental health challenges, people on probation, etc to work the land, benefiting them mentally, physically and spiritually at the same time as you clear the land without chemicals? Two birds with the one stone and all. It worked for years in the past and were we not happier then – all over Europe, all over the world?
Do we really want to kill mother nature?