THE letter from Penny Little (ViewPoints, July 18) must surely strike a resonant chord with those of us who have striven over many years to convince the powers that be that modern homo sapiens can successfully walk upright along ancient byways, such as the Icknield Way, without being tripped up by dastardly dandelions, or brutish buttercups, or indeed assaulted by winged insects exercising their right to feed and, thereby, pollinate flowering plants that benefit the humans who are now wilfully trashing the nectar-rich plants essential for the bees which ensure our food supplies.

What a strange, selfish topsy-turvy world we now live in.

Having been assured, repeatedly, over the past decade, by the Ridgeway and Thames Path National Trails management group that public rights of way must, by law, be “kept fee from obstructions, including natural vegetation upgrowth” and also that “there is a fine balance between conservation and recreation”, I am unable to agree that the exposed surface of this ancient trackway is an improvement on that along which one could easily take a toddler in a pushchair to see and enjoy all the flowers and wildlife back in the 1980s.

While one clearly cannot lay the blame for our current cycle of bad weather on those tasked with the duty of care for our natural environment, a more yielding and generous attitude towards the natural world, such as road verges and open spaces, is surely not beyond the capabilities of those responsible for their maintenance.

BEA BRADLEY, Cuxham Road, Watlington