Rural tranquility?


Sir, – Maurice Fitzgerald’s cri de coeur about bird-scarers (Letters, July 21st) highlighted, for me, a somewhat broader issue. When you first contemplate moving to the countryside, you imagine how idyllic it will be, with the peace, the isolation, no street lighting, etc. The reality can sometimes bring a rude awakening.

The surrounding fields, which were under grass, can suddenly and magically appear full of sheep, complaining vociferously around the clock about being moved from wherever they were while someone was selling you the property. A field across the lane, undisturbed for centuries, can suddenly need ploughing at 2am just after you move in.

Then there’s the question of slurry spreading. The rule of thumb is that this always begins just after your wife has hung out the bed linen. As to the exact nature of the slurry, I eventually realised why all the local farmers had a lucrative sideline in emptying septic tanks.

I should point out that my experience, hinted at above, was in Wales. Your mileage may vary.

However, I suspect that the urban/rural dichotomy is probably universal, and more to do with the respective mindsets than the geographical location.

I do sympathise about the scarers, though. At least Worzel Gummidge was quiet for most of the time. – Yours, etc,


St Helens,

Merseyside, UK.