I HAVE just watched the BBC news reporting on a study issued by a body representing British Wildlife. This study showed that in the last five years we have lost 80 per cent of our river wildlife, this includes the near extinction of water voles, rates, fish and other river life including plant wildlife and habitat. They quote two main reasons for this disaster.

The first is the change in the farming industries where farmers were forced, for economical reasons, to abandon the old traditional farms and had to tear out hedges to transform pastures and fields to create vast areas which then were systematically sprayed with pesticides, insecticides, high density feed pellets and sprays to produce more cereals, milk and vegetables which led to mountains of produce that we could not sell. Thousands of farmers went bankrupt and the suicide rate of farmers became the highest of all country industries.

Secondly, the near extinction of water voles and decimation of fish was caused by the release of hundreds of mink being illegally freed from licensed and legal mink farms by animal welfare activists who smashed their way into farms, destroyed pens and released these voracious animals to spread all over the country. The eggs and chicks of the beautiful kingfisher, who build their nests in holes in the river bank were all destroyed, all fish from a stickleback to a pike were slaughtered. The ducks, moorhens and coots were fair game and the weeds, rushes, grasses and other staple diets of the vole were allowed to grow and choke the rivers; all this was caused by ignorant people who think they are helping animals and the countryside but are in fact destroying it.

We also now have the extinction of the native crayfish destroyed by the American signal large crayfish introduced by other idiots. Well, I hope they are proud of what they have achieved and the long term damage they have caused.

A CURTIS Kingsley Avenue Royal Wootton Bassett