Very briefly, to follow on from last week’s column, what wonderful scenes at Wembley on Sunday evening, as England ended fifty-six years of hurt by finally winning a major tournament.

As I wrote then, I hope this leads to further participation in the game: if anyone is interested, I know Salisbury FC are looking for more girls for the coming season (other local teams are also available).

A few miles southwest of Salisbury is the village of Bowerchalke, which for the best part of two decades was the home of James Lovelock, the hugely inspirational and influential environmentalist, who died last week at the age of 103.

Lovelock was best known for the development of the Gaia hypothesis, which sees the Earth as a living organism.

Lovelock’s original name for the idea was Earth System Science. Fortunately, his next-door neighbour in Bowerchalke was author William Golding, who came up with the idea of calling it Gaia, after the Greek Goddess of Earth.

One of Lovelock’s most important achievements was in discovering the effect of chloroflurocarbons, or CFCs, on the Earth’s atmosphere.

This planet-saving revelation was one that began here in Wiltshire: in the late 1960s, Lovelock became curious at the haziness in the local air.

Haziness was a phenomenon associated with large cities – the fumes of London or Los Angeles. But out in the Chalk Valley, there didn’t seem any explanation for it.

As luck would have it, Lovelock had a home-made invention to hand: his Electron Capture Detector (William Golding didn’t seem to be around to rename this one), which he’d developed to detect chemical pollutants.

Using this, he worked out that the haziness was caused by CFCs – back then commonly found in the production of aerosols and refrigerators. Lovelock took his machine to rural Ireland and discovered the same results.

He joined a research ship heading for Antarctica, and found that CFCs were in the atmosphere down there as well.

In particular, CFCs were depleting the Ozone layer, and the earth’s natural protection from the UV light of the Sun. By 1985, scientists had spotted an Ozone hole over Antarctica.

To begin with, manufacturers claimed that the science was unfounded. But by the mid 1980s the proof was incontrovertible. For once, the world came together to deal with the situation.

In 1987, 46 countries signed the Montreal Protocol, phasing out CFCs and other substances damaging the Ozone layer. By 2015, this agreement had been signed by the entire United Nations – apparently the only treaty ever to be signed by every country on earth.

Today, the damage to the Ozone layer has been reversed. And it all started thanks to one man, looking up at the Wiltshire sky.