Many autumn-sown crops were growing so poorly and patchily after the wet winter and cold spring that they were ploughed up and replanted. On a Standish farm, only one of several oil-seed rape fields was considered worth keeping. Even so, it has produced flush after flush of weeds. I’m sorry for the farmer, but it has been fabulous for wildlife – full of finches feeding on the weed seeds and abundant insects for swallows and swifts. Currently it is over-topped by 6ft high spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and so is alive with butterflies and bees.