A tortoiseshell butterfly in an Irish garden feeding from the magenta flowers of oregano. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Seen many butterflies recently? No? What about ladybirds, wild bees, dragonflies, frogs or hedgehogs? Nope? Me neither. The sad truth is that the abse(...)

A scarecrow on duty in an Irish school garden. Photograph: Richard Johnston

Writing about scarecrows in the New York Times recently, the author Geoff Dyer described them as “Silent beings in dilapidated attendance . . . devoid(...)