Charlotte's Letter

To the future owners of our home,

We have been very happy living in this little cottage and hope you have settled in and are now discovering the charms of the village and downland walks beyond.

I particularly loved our garden and the birds and other wild creatures that made it their home. We left space for nature by leaving unkempt corners, letting ivy grow along the fence and by not being too fanatical with the weeding ( I urge you to do the same! ). The first thing we did on moving in 27 years ago was put in a wildlife pond. Frogs, newts and a wealth of tiny pond creatures soon moved in. In summertime, the dragonflies and damselflies flitting around the garden were a delight.

In recent years however, the record breaking summer temperatures and wet and stormy winters has put the garden under stress. This year there were no frogs and I no longer see newts. Hedgehogs vanished from the area some years ago. Around the village trees are dying. I hope the apple tree that we inherited is still able to produce a crop for you. It struggled through the drought this summer. And the little apple tree that I planted this autumn - has it survived? We are witnessing the effects of global warming in our tiny patch but across the world the consequences are far more terrifying and extreme.

As you read this letter, sometime in the future, I do so pray that the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are no longer the urgent, overwhelming issues that they are today, that they were put to the top of the agenda and tackled wholeheartedly by world leaders, politicians and us all. I hope we didn't let the future down.

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