Country mouse on uniforms

Up in the tops of trees, the rooks are making their scruffy nests. Below, the hedge is coming into leaf, each day knitting a little bit more green into the black framework. Soon, our hedges will be long, verdant tapestries stretching across our fields. In them, the little wren with its cocked tail is starting to sing. What joy.

And don’t forget the blackbird, so easily overlooked, but look again the male with its egg-yolk beak is very beautiful and its song enchanting. It was the favourite of the great ornithologist and American president Theodore Roosevelt when he visited Britain. With spring well on its way, all our cock birds have donned their best uniforms to impress their hens.

But uniforms have come under attack when worn by humans. It’s very sad that RAF servicemen and woman have been banned from wearing them in Cambridgeshire after months of verbal abuse. It fills me with dismay. How dare the people of Peterborough insult these servicemen who fight for our freedom and democratic rights? That there are now no-go areas in our own country for soldiers, sailors and airmen makes us little better than Afghanistan.