iNEWS reportsunseasonally late frosts have been keeping them at bay in Britain’s gardens but slugs and snails are set to return at the weekend with a vengeance.
Warmer conditions combined with scattered showers offers them ideal conditions, just as gardeners are tending their prized seedlings and garden plants are putting forth tender, and a to a gastropod, highly munchable fresh shoots.
It all adds up to, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is warning, a perfect slug storm for gardeners. Nevertheless, the RHS is urging gardeners to go easy on their most traditional of enemies.
iNEWS provides an opinion piece in which Chris Packham writes: I think you have to take an active hand in terms of managing any amount of space. Even if you are going to allow a square metre of your garden to go to wildflowers, then you need to get rid of that lawn grass and sow some wildflower seeds. Simply neglecting it is not the answer.
iNews reports wasps may be the most hated creature in the garden but they are actually among the most valuable species around, a study has found. Researchers have conducted a major investigation into the 33,000 species of wasp and concluded they are the most unfairly maligned insects in the back yard. They conclude that wasps deserve to be just as highly valued as other insects, such as the much loved species of bees, because they play a key role as pollinators and as predators – keeping the insects they eat further down the food chain in check…
iNEWS reports thousands of parasite wasps are set to be released in England in an effort to kill an in invasive pest attacking sweet chestnut trees. The Government has granted approval for Torymus sinensis, a type of parasite wasp, to be introduced in order to attack the invasive Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp.
Concern has been mounting about the fate of England’s sweet chestnut trees after the Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp was first spotted in Kent in 2015. The wasp’s larvae causes abnormal growths – known as ‘galls’ – on the leaves of sweet chestnut trees. Large infestations can weaken the host tree, making it more vulnerable to pests and diseases.
BBC News reports data has confirmed what many suspected: nature and green spaces have been a big comfort during lockdown. More than 40% of people say nature, wildlife and visiting local green spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing since the coronavirus restrictions began.
The percentages have remained stable throughout the pandemic, according to the government’s advisor for the natural environment, Natural England. And the trend could persist.
The Guardian reports the scale of water companies illegally discharging sewage is 10 times greater than the Environment Agency (EA) estimates, MPs have been told.
Peter Hammond, former professor of computational biology at University College London, now retired, said his analysis of sewage treatment works found in 2020 alone 160 breaches of permits granted by the watchdog to allow sewage discharges. The EA has only prosecuted 174 cases of illegal discharges in the last 10 years, he said on Wednesday.
The BBC reports water companies have been illegally dumping untreated sewage into rivers in England and Wales, an investigation by BBC Panorama has found. Data analysed by the programme showed some companies have regularly breached the conditions in their permits.
Treatment works are only allowed to put sewage into waterways after wet weather and when they are close to capacity. The water industry says it will invest more than a billion pounds over five years to reduce discharges into rivers. Treatment works are allowed to release sewage into rivers and streams after extreme weather, such as torrential rain, and when they are operating close to full capacity.
The BBC reports the RSPB has called for the felling of trees in the path of the HS2 rail link to be investigated. The bird charity criticised government and HS2 as ecologists launched a legal challenge against licences issued to permit the felling of trees in Jones’ Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire.
It said the felling risked “undermining every environmental commitment” the government had made about HS2. HS2 said it took its “environmental responsibilities seriously”. The legal action is being brought by a member of Earth Protectors.
The BBC reports a pair of beavers have been reintroduced to Dorset as part of a nationwide trial.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust is monitoring a male and a female beaver in the west of the county. They are being observed by wildlife experts in a large freshwater habitat, with footage captured on night cameras. The species went extinct in the UK 400 years ago, during the 16th Century.