Where all the birds have gone this year – a garden survey | Letters

The paucity of birds in Mary Julian’s Hackney garden (Letters, 18 October) is perhaps a problem of the metropolis. Here in Newcastle on the day after her letter was published we enjoyed our usual great tit, blue tit, coal tit, gold finch, chaffinch, green finch, dunnock, blackbird, robin, starling, wood pigeon and ring-necked parakeet. The … Read more

Zoos play a vital role in animal conservation across the world Letters

Your article (Conflict between activists and zoos shows no sign of going away, October 17) does a disservice to the work of zoos and aquariums. The science shows that conservation and education are effective at good zoos and aquariums. UK zoos lead the world on animal welfare. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and … Read more

The grim cost of ripping up red tape | Letters

Every time I hear the expression “bonfire of red tape”, I cannot help but think of the Grenfell Tower fire, which so tragically illustrated what that cliche can actually mean (Who wants Liz Truss’s bonfire of net-zero red tape? Not big business , for a start, September 23). Will others have the same reaction?Kevin McGrathHarlow, … Read more

Queen’s funeral spells bad news for guinea pigs | Letters

My six-year-old granddaughter has been solemnly informed that Guinea Pig Awareness Week has been postponed as a mark of respect. She is distraught and I cannot help but think that, as an animal lover, Her Majesty would not have approved. Perhaps a constitutional expert or someone close to the royals could prevail on the organizers … Read more

Top Tories may change – but the ideas stay the same Letters

You argue that it would be churlish not to credit advances in diverse representation in the Tory cabinet (Editorial, September 7). But is there any real advance if the views being espoused by its new members are still remarkably similar to the white men they have replaced, and in some cases actually denying the experience … Read more

Let’s turn our hands to British Sign Language Letters

Could I suggest that Richard Simcott gives British Sign Language a go (Experience: I speak more than 50 languages, 12 August)? It has faced centuries of oppression and at times in history has been banned in the most cruel ways (schoolchildren punished for signing, for example). The UK did not recognize BSL as an official … Read more

How songbirds benefit from the food put out for pheasants | Letters

Mark Glover’s view that gamebird releasing causes “environmental carnage” (Slaughter of UK’s imported gamebirds carries a heavy price, July 22) is not supported by the scientific evidence. He cites Stephen Harris’s report for the Labor Animal Welfare Society as proof that the release of pheasants is fueling an increase in the fox population. However, records … Read more

How grasshopper stridulation can become the sound of silence as time goes by | Letters

The grasshoppers may still be there, you just can not hear them any more (Letters, 17 May). Grasshoppers and crickets “sing” at very high frequencies, and these can be lost as you age. A few years ago, while camping, my children complained about the crickets keeping them awake at night. “What crickets?” I asked. “I … Read more

Abandoned fishing gear is killing marine life and poisoning our oceans | Letters

One critical factor not mentioned in Emma Bryce’s excellent piece on wasted fish harvests (Millions of tonnes of dead animals: the growing scandal of fish waste, May 9) is the threat of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, also known as ghost gear. A single abandoned net is estimated to kill an average of 500,000 … Read more