On Saturday, as I walked my dogs, I thought it a perfect May morning, the countryside refreshed by the rain and the sun shining down.

My joy at the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside did not last long. As I walked, a truck passed me.

I recognised the gamekeeper driving slowly past. In the back of his truck was a Larsen trap, with a live magpie in it.

Larsen traps are (unfortunately legal) cages in which a healthy magpie is placed as a lure, to bring other magpies into the trap, to be killed by the gamekeeper.

I am already aware that this gamekeeper lays lethal traps for squirrels.

No doubt almost everything that is not a pheasant or partridge is killed on the land he works on, and they are only preserved to be killed by idiots with guns.

The next sight to dismay me was that of the council machines, destroying flower-filled verges.

The clouds of creamy cow parsley are a joy to see, but every May as they peak, they are mown down. In my opinion this is pure vandalism – paid for by us.

Verges provide essential refuges for insects and help maintain the dwindling population of birds.

Bees are in catastrophic decline, and need every wild flower they can find on our denuded land, and yet the council stubbornly continues to destroy them.

The countryside could be so much more consoling and rich if it were not for the callous and the stupid who seem hellbent on despoiling it.

Penny Little, Great Haseley