Numbers, metrics, Ruby Tigers and the value of an oak tree – The Property Chronicle
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Numbers, metrics, Ruby Tigers and the value of an oak tree

Golden Oldie

Why preserving the irreplaceable benefits everyone and especially moths.

The names of moths are a delicious smorgasbord of rich imagery. Our evenings are festooned by Dusky Footmen and Ruby Tigers, Death’s Head hawkmoths and even the Scarce Merveille du Jour. They bring the pipistrelles and barbastelle who, through echo location, find and eat them. They bring the goat-sucker into our woods. Their hairy caterpillars feed our lost cuckoos. Ditches across our marshland flitter with ephemeral China mark moths, miniature ballerinas in trembling ivory. The very names evocative and musical, colourful and hysterical. How can you not smile at the Nut tree tussock, Oak beauty and Sussex emerald? 

Through these progeny of ancient oaks and denizens of the teeming fun of our ditch water, I come closest to spiritual resurgence. Not, perhaps, in a religious way, but in a way that feels like clotted cream melting through my diaphragm. A physical affirmation of spirituality, pure, simple and awe inspiring. A relationship that brings me ease, through an eternally evolving continuum of wonder. 

Golden Oldie The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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