The Daily Telegraph

Natural curiosity


sir – I was saddened to read Jemima Lewis’s article (Comment, September 10) about how she did not have the option of pursuing her interest in natural history at school.

When I started to teach biology in secondary schools in 1964, rural science was available, botany was still a degree subject, and there was no National Curriculum. This allowed teachers to introduce as much natural history as we liked – and I did.

I spent many weeks each year taking groups out on fieldwork, both locally and further away. But then everything changed. I fought hard to prevent those changes as they were forced upon us.

Now, in retirement, it gives me pleasure to lead small groups of adults on wildflower and tree-identifica­tion walks. Who will be able to lead such groups 30 years hence if no one is learning about the natural world today?

Veronica Smith

Danbury, Essex

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