Report from Swale Borough Councillors - September 2020

Bugs, beetles, hedgehogs and holes.

Did you watch the latest David Attenborough programme ‘Extinction – The Facts’ about the global crisis in the collapse of biodiversity. It is really worth watching and is available on I-player at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000mn4n/extinction-the-facts .

The programme deals with problems on a global scale, but it would be a mistake to think it is not our problem because we don't have rainforests or polar bears. Wildlife is endangered locally too and this is recognised in Swale's Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan. One of the actions is to minimise use of fertilizers, pesticides and weed killers, and it was really encouraging to hear of Selling Parish Council​ joining in with the Kent Wildlife Trust's Action for Insects project. You can join it as an individual too: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/action-insects . Some of the actions you can take even mean less work in the garden: insects like it a bit messy! Stag beetles, for example, like old logs or dead stumps, and we had the privilege of seeing a couple of male beetles fighting in our garden earlier in the year.

Other simple actions for wildlife include holes in fences (https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/link-your-garden) which give hedgehogs the chance to move along a street avoiding the road. These are some of the positive steps we can take in making space for nature, but all our choices have an impact as climate change is probably the biggest danger to wildlife , but more on this ​ another time.

Alastair Gould (AlastairGould@swale.gov.uk)

Tim Valentine (TimValentine@swale.gov.uk) 07752 191807

Swale Borough Councillors for Boughton & Courtenay

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