Country Life Today: ‘Unnoticed insect apocalypse’ could have ‘profound’ consequences on all life on earth

In today's news round-up we bring you an 85-year-old model rediscovered in a care home, vets as you've never seen them before and the findings of a Wildlife Trusts survey.

Insect decline addressed in new report

UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen 77 percent since the mid-1970s. Credit: Getty Images/Jan Plutnar/500px.

A new report for the Wildlife Trusts has suggested half of all insects may have been lost since 1970 as a result of the destruction of nature and heavy use of pesticides.

The report said 40 percent of the one million known species of insect are facing extinction. It also found that 23 bee and wasp species have become extinct in the last century.

UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen 77 percent since the mid-1970s and others have declined 46 percent, according to the study.

However, conservationalists have maintained that insect populations can be reversed if pesticide use is curbed and urban parks and gardens are made more wildlife friendly.

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‘We can’t be sure, but in terms of numbers, we may have lost 50 percent or more of our insects since 1970 — it could be much more,’ said Professor Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex, who wrote the report for the Wildlife Trusts. ‘We just don’t know, which is scary. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on earth [and] for human wellbeing.’

Full story (The Guardian)

Thought modelling was just for youngsters? Think again…

An 85-year-old has been rediscovered by a fashion photographer, more than 60 years after her modelling career began.

Leslie MacLennan once worked for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, but thought her days of posing for the camera were well behind her until a chance encounter at her Surrey care home.

James Muller was visiting Huntington House when he was struck by Leslie’s ‘beautiful hands and the way she carries herself’.

Mr Muller, who has worked for Vogue Italia and Elle, said that he wanted to capture her ‘poise and class’ and snapped up the chance to photograph her once more.

Full story (The Times)

On this day…  Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

On 14 November, 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island  was first published by Cassell and Company.

A map from the first edition of Treasure Island. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The novel was issued in six different colours, including scarlet red, light green and blue, but collectors maintain each cover holds equal value.

Royal Mail prevents Christmas strike

Royal Mail has won an injunction preventing a postal strike because it could have disrupted voting in the general election and the run-up to Christmas.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the postal workers union, said that its members were ‘extremely angry and bitterly disappointed’, adding that the union would take legal advice on a possible appeal.

Full story (The Times)

And finally… Vets on the moo-ve

A group of more than 40 vets, led by a trio dressed as a pantomime cow and a carton of milk, have raised thousands of pounds for Send a Cow by completing Southport Parkrun in their unusual attire.

Full story (AgriLand)