More about Invasive Species Week

Invasive non-native species are one of the top five causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Here in the UK they harm the environment, threaten some of our rarest species and cost our economy over £1.8 billion a year.

Read on to find out how you can help

Pesticides and soil biodiversity

 A meta-analysis of nearly 400 research studies has shown that pesticides are damaging the soil’s vitally important ecosystems. Researchers have warned that we must be more careful about considering the organisms that live in  the soil when we assess the environmental impact of pesticides. A UN report published in December 2020 found that, without urgent action to halt degradation, the future of our soils looks bleak: it takes thousands of years for new soils to form.

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Double flowers

If you are planting your flower beds and hanging baskets this weekend, keep our dwindling population of pollinators in mind and please don’t plant double flowers.

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COULD FOOD FORESTS BE THE FUTURE FOR ORCHARDS?  

You will know that the Park has an orchard that was planted a few years ago.  Some of you might have helped to plant it.  It was created as a Community Garden and to maintain expertise we keep in contact with the Orchard Project, a national organisation for such orchard managers.  This article is from their latest newsletter, which I feel will interest many park users. 

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Today we are publishing the introduction and section 1 of our objection to planning application 20/00379/OUT to build 180 houses in the meadows at Southwick Court, between Trowbridge and Southwick Village. It is both a summary of the park’s biodiversity and a reminder that we need to protect our green spaces and wildlife whenever and however we can.

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Endangered flight corridor

Of the 18 species of bats native to Britain, 13 have been identified in Southwick Country Park, in Southwick Court, and in the green fields between Trowbridge and Southwick. The thirteen includes the rare and endangered lesser horseshoe bat, a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and the internationally protected Bechstein’s bat, one of the rarest mammals in the UK.

Read on to see how proposed development will harm the bats’ habitat

Environment Bill delayed

Three days ago, the government delayed the Environment Bill for the third time. Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK, said:

Time and time again the government tells us that ‘urgent action’ is needed to restore nature, that it will ‘build back greener’ and that we can’t afford to ‘dither and delay’. What then is it playing at by delaying the most important piece of environmental legislation for decades?

We don’t need to look any further than this week’s New Scientist to see the urgent need for legislation to protect our environment and the many lifeforms we share it with.

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PROJECTS PROGRAMME

Background

by Ian Bushell

The following programme of actions was taken as an outcome of the review of the park on 27th January 2013 by the Wiltshire Countryside Team and Friends of Southwick Country Park. It is intended that this is a living document: a record of previous projects, tasks undertaken, an update of works carried out during 2020, and a review of the park in general.

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Real or fake?

A lot of people buy artificial Christmas trees in the belief that it benefits the environment, but environmentalists and energy analysts disagree. We need only look at a single element of the hundreds of thousands of artificial trees that will be put up and decorated this Christmas: they are all made of plastic.

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