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It’s interesting that we have decided shaming and yelling are the easiest ways to change people’s minds. Which is not to say I do not think there are people in this world who deserve to be shamed and yelled at: people who use the term ‘cancel culture’ sincerely, people who are deeply invested in the marriage and divorce cycles of celebrities, Meryl Streep. But do I think yelling at Ms Streep will accomplish what I fervently wish for, which is for her to stop ruining perfectly fine movies with her barely adequate performances? No. Every issue in our cultural lives is politicised right now. Just searching through various podcasts I

Is the adder slithering towards extinction?

In early April, when the chiffchaff sings its drab little song in the leafless hawthorns, something is stirring in the dead bracken. Having spent the winter months underground, one of our most fascinating creatures slithers into the weak spring sunshine: the adder. The emerging adders haven’t eaten for six months, but food is not on their minds; it is the mating season. Rival males indulge in spectacular ritual combat, rearing up side by side and twisting and wrestling at great speed. After mating the snakes disperse and spend the summer in solitary pursuit of mice, voles, lizards, frogs and fledglings. Adders never use more energy than is necessary and spend