Sunday, 4 July 2010


I can't seem to get motivated with blogging or photography at the moment.  It is that time of year when despondency sets in: the council have just been round and destroyed a lot of the habitat along the verges, leaving me despairing about the future of our wild plants and the insects, birds and mammals that inhabit this world alongside us.  

I read an article last week about scientists trying to discover why the insect world is sharply declining in numbers.  In my area the only decent habitat for insects is along the roadside verges.  The fields are predominantly a monoculture of ryegrass, with the sheep eating out the base of the hedges leaving little for wildlife to survive on.   When those horrible cutting machines come round they macerate all of the foliage, flowers, and insects. along with the mammals that don't move out of the way quickly enough.  The Orchids once again were destroyed before they had time to set seed, and a lot of the beautiful Meadowsweet was destroyed just as it was coming into bloom, along with many other flowers.  The bankings were smashed where the blades came too close and the homes of insects that lived in tiny burrows were destroyed.   When I first moved here there were lots of clumps of Orchids around the lanes, now there are very few of them, and at the rate the council are going soon there will be none.  Is there really no one within the scientific and environmental movements that can connect up the dots: we destroy their habitat and they decline.   I have tried discussing it with the council to no avail: it has always been done this way and will continue to be done this way.  What is it they say about there are none so blind as those that don't want to see?

Oh well, life goes on for some of us, and I am being blessed by visits from many Siskins.  Not sure whether there is a shortage of food for them elsewhere or whether the word has got round as to how useful I am. :-)


  1. Have to agree with what you are saying Kerry. I think most councils in general, are quite happy to destroy everything in its path, just so it looks 'pretty'.
    Having said that though, I must admit my local council do seem to approach things a little more sympathetically to wildlife.
    At least the word has got out, and the birds know where to come for some food at your place.
    Lovely shot of the Siskin.

  2. Our council here on the Isle of Wight are no different. Every so often their hedge cutting tractor comes round, with a huge circular blade on it which doesn't so much cut the hedges and verges as smash them up. They are also obsessed with 'tidying' things up such as scrubby areas and hedges - it may look 'nice' and manicured to the general public but is rubbish for wildlife.
    The Isle of Wight Council has an 'Eco Island' policy which isn't worth the paper it's printed on - it consists of nothing more practical than notices on the backs of buses lecturing the population about using energy saving bulbs and recycling stuff, but they don't put their own ethos into practice when it comes to being sympathetic towards wildlife or preventing local streetlamps from putting 99% of light into the sky where its wasted (costing both CO2 and money). I've contacted them but so far have never had a reply.
    Lucky you with Siskins in your garden - that is a beautiful shot!

  3. Hi Kerry, I am dreading the time when verges here on the IoW get their mid-year cut.
    Lovely Siskin shot.

  4. Hi Kerry,

    Lovely shot of the siskin! My friend and I were just discussing this morning about the decline in the population of bobalinks. As a kid I enjoyed watching them in the fields behind our old house.

    I think there are a small number of us watching the numbers of bird, insect and reptile species dwindling away...


  5. I thought I'd already posted a message Kerry. Oh well, i suppose I didn't do the secure word bit at the end.

    I just said that our council is exactly the same, a bloody shambles. As are the local farmers and and landowners - all but one!

  6. It is sad to see that it seems to be pretty much the same across the board: destruction by those in charge. It doesn't give much hope does it. :-(

    Thanks everyone for your comments and visit; it is nice to see that others are as concerned as me, and to see that there are decent people in the world.

    Eleanor - I had to look Bobolinks up: I had never heard of them before - they are delightful birds.

  7. Hi Kerry,

    Fantastic image of the Siskin! I agree with all the comments about unnecessary destruction of insect habitat. It's exactly this policy that, I am sure, has been a factor in losing some of our breeding birds - such as Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck etc etc.. Insect diversity, in particular beetles and other flying insects, is key to a healthy ecosystem.

  8. Thanks for the comment Terry. Unfortunately once again this year my swallows have failed to breed. They started two nests but both have been abandoned. There certainly don't seem to be the number of flying insects around this year and though that is a blessing to my skin - not having to put up with being covered in bites - it certainly isn't a blessing to the birds.


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I live in North Wales and spend my time caring for animals, walking in the countryside, photographing nature and reading. I hope to share, in photographs and words, some of the beauty that I see. If you enjoy the photographs on this blog then you might like to take a look at my Flickr photostream. View my complete profile for links to both of my blogs.