This was the phrase used by Simon King in his compelling and engaging, but unsettling, talk at the Bruton Eco-school roadshow the other week. He was referring as much to Somerset as to England more widely, comparing the here and now with the land of lost content. I was reminded of it today by a story in the press about the demise of the spotted flycatcher, and the much-maligned wasp.
The land may well be a green colour – we still have a lot of grass – but it's relatively (and often absolutely) barren in terms of species decimated, habitats denuded, and interconnections lost. I started drafting this post on a slow speed train, pootling through the Cotswolds where there is landscape to spare, but fewer birds, dragonflies, small mammals, moths, beetles, etc, etc, than ever.
I blame our Faustian pact with intensive agriculture and its agrochemical / pesticidal fellow travellers that's been locked in place by the corrupt banalities of the common agricultural project.