I need a hug. Damp, grey and cold is how I feel, so how apt that the weather has obligingly changed to fit my mood. What I need is a swirling cloud of starlings, a murmuration, to lift my spirits.

Starlings massed over Brighton pierThere are a few small clusters of starlings that perform mini sky-dances around London but I've a full month to wait until the Brighton Pier starlings are fully up and running. The sheer number of starlings perched on the long hand of Big Ben were once so numerous they stopped the clock in its tracks! Bring 'em back.

On the South Bank you can view a small colony of house sparrows from our pitch at Bernie Spain Gardens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday this month. The sight of them raiding the feeders in the trees is enough to give you a warm glow.

I did get hot under the collar the other day at the announcement that planning permission was being granted for Donald Trump's golf courses and luxury housing development in Aberdeenshire. It means the destruction of a unique dune habitat and a designated and supposedly protected Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The RSPB commissioned a golf course architect to Dunes of the Menie Estatecreate a plan that would equal Donald Trump's, without destroying the SSSI. These plans were offered to the New York based billionaire and presented to the Scottish Government. Both ignored them. The implications for other SSSI sites and protected areas must surely now be in doubt in Scotland. You cannot put a value on nature and wildlife, yet it is proved time and time again that the promise of financial gain proves more alluring than our precious surroundings - surroundings that provide us with the resources we need to survive. How short-sighted.

Anonymous