Some species of flora and fauna are tokens of the health of the environment. One such is a flower called the cowslip, a characteristic springtime flower of unspoiled meadows. In other words a rare plant these days. We have three or four sites in the village where there are cowslips, but that is because we have deliberately planted them there.
This evening, I discovered, after more than twenty years of living next to their house, that my neighbours have cowslips growing wild and natural on their back lawn! Only a few, maybe a dozen at most, but all emerging from patches of grass which is quite different from the grass in the rest of the lawn. These flowers are presumably a relic from the time when the land on which our houses now stand was covered with unimproved grass.
Earlier today, while out putting up barnowl and kestrel boxies, we visited a farm which had spinneys with an abundance of bluebells growing among the trees, an indicator species of unspoiled ancient woodland. A glorious sight.
All in all, it has been a truly unspoiled day.