Take a walk towards the bridge out of town, preferably with spookable children, and you’ll come across an enormous web created by ermine caterpillars over entire trees. A notice from Lewes District Council warns us not to touch the exotic caterpillers, which have stripped bare the trees and are hanging in clusters of web bags.
I find the notice, like the one at County Hall I mentioned last week, rather condescendingly human-centric. The reality is that we humans are as endangered as those beings we well-meaningly seek to protect. We utterly depend on all life to sustain us, not simply as ecosystems services, such as soil to purify water, plants to anchor carbon and willows to soak up flood plains, but as beings in their own right.
A Guardian editorial this week wrote that ‘although the cost of conserving biodiversity will be considerable, the price of not doing so could be truly terrible’. And the Funeral for Lost Species being held this weekend by my friend Persephone is all about remembering the ones who have gone and perhaps cherishing a little more the ones who are being obliterated by us.
Meanwhile, an eviction notice (court attendance Tuesday 17 May 9-11am, Brighton County court) has been served on the people occupying the land at St Anne’s School to prevent its demolition and sale, without consultation. If you care about this 3.5 acre of biodiverse wild land which should really be kept as a park or growing space for not only the humans but for all the other beings of Lewes, please come and help out (entrance at Rotten Row) or email email@example.com or turn up en masse at 9am outside the court.
Photograph courtesy of Abbie Stanton.