I CAN sympathise with Abbie Woodward’s dislike of having to walk though a swarm of flying ants (“Flying ants plague residents”, July 18), and yet be pleased that at least one species of insect is holding its own against our massive indiscriminate use of insecticides and herbicides.

It is mid-July and buddleias - the so-called butterfly bush - are in full flower but apart from one or two cabbage whites there are no butterflies to be seen on them.

One of the joyous sights of the English summer is being destroyed for no good reason, that I can think of.

The natural world is a God-given thing of marvellous beauty. For future generations let us control our destructive instincts, and keep it that way.

Maurice Vassie,

Deighton, York

Sometimes I am ashamed of our race

I agree with Maurice Vassie (Letters, July 10) that the loss of meadowland is deeply worrying.

What we’ve done to our country alone is as bad as the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Then there are the moorland fires at Saddleworth, plans for fracking on the Yorkshire moors and talk about building near Askham Bog.

Humans have created global warming, destroyed cities and the countryside through warfare and polluted huge areas of the world through sheer greed.

There are still a lot who are decent, like the ones who saved the Thai boys and those trying to save the planet. But I am afraid to say there are an awful lot who are just plain destructive, filthy and greedy.

Sometimes I am proud to be a member of the human race and sometimes I am ashamed.

Robert D Greaves,

New Earswick, York