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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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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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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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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Flea circus

Part One

Research has recently found that the highly toxic insecticides used on cats and dogs to kill fleas are poisoning England’s rivers. Scientists believe that significant environmental damage is being done to important water insect populations, down at the bottom of the freshwater food chain.

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Newt-counting

It is now two years since the Friends of Southwick Country Park took issue with Wiltshire’s Housing Site Allocation Plan. Despite our best efforts the sites surrounding the park and Lambrok Stream, at Church Lane (H2.4), Upper Studley (H2.5) and Southwick Court (H2.6) were selected, last year, for future development.

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Flood Map

This is a screenshot taken from the Environment Agency’s Flood Map; it shows the risk of Lambrok Stream flooding. We have dropped a yellow marker at the place where the access road to the planned development of 180 houses (planning application 20/00379/OUT) is intended to cross the Lambrok.

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More on Application 20/00379/OUT

Ecology survey and assessment report

Planning application 20/00379/OUT’s Ecology Survey and Assessment Report has been arbitrarily divided into six separate documents. This makes it very difficult to read, particularly as the contents page is in the first document and thereafter there are no page numbers. Stick at it, though; we have found it as interesting for its omissions as it is for its findings

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