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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Birds of Conservation Concern Red List

According to the RSPB, there are 67 species of British birds now on the Birds of Conservation Concern Red List, more than ever before. The Red List are those birds that need urgent conservation action if their falling populations are to survive our environmental emergency.

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Second Wednesday

Tomorrow will be the second Wednesday of the month and FoSCP’s first work party of the year. Come and join us; come and help us look after the park and its wildlife.

The Met Office says it will be cold, there is always a chance of rain and we know it will be muddy but the company is good, the conversation enlightening and there will be coffee and biscuits at half time. We meet at 9.30am in the car park, wellied and waterproofed, and we work until midday. New volunteers will be very welcome.

Plastic pollution

We pick up plastic trash around the park almost every day. Plastic is an environmental problem that we must take seriously; here is a video made by the UN that clearly explains the extent of the problem.

Crackers!

Christmas crackers spill plastic trinkets onto your Christmas table every year. Nobody keeps them; who even remembers what fell out of their Christmas cracker last year?

It all ends up in landfill with the paper hats. The hats will biodegrade in a matter of weeks but nobody knows how long the cheap petrochemical-derived plastic dinosaurs and whistles will remain in the ground. The best estimates of the time it will take such plastics to biodegrade are anywhere between 5,000 years and never.

Here is Friends of the Earth’s thought provoking video about Christmas crackers.

Real or fake?

A lot of people are buying artificial Christmas trees in the belief that it benefits the environment, but environmentalists and energy analysts would beg to 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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