Good afternoon to all the people who read this blog from Standish and where ever – who ever you are. welcome! Its been a while since I wrote here, to be honest I’ve been less than well for a number of years so its been tough in more ways than one.
ANYWAY! Sometimes you simply can’t lay back and let things rot, sometimes you simply have to take some positive action.
Recently Wigan Council (whom I have to say aren’t too bad these days) instructed their ‘gardeners’ to come and prepare for the new mowing season. SO off they went around all the grass areas to spray some less than wonderful weed killer under the bushes to make life easier. Well to say it looks shocking is an understatement, and I wasn’t sure what it does to the wild life and insects.
So I did a little research and found this on a website called Wild Life News – “New research just published by a team from Washington State University indicates that commonly used weed-killers that were previously thought to be safe can have damaging impacts on butterfly populations and threaten the survival of the rarest species.”
That’s not good!! Last year I was overjoyed at the amount of butterflies and bees I saw up and down ‘the line’ in Standish so much so I took a couple of pictures like the one on the left and below. (anyone want to buy a picture get in touch I will put the money towards some more gravel for the line). The increase in butterflies can only be down to the improvement in of the flora and fauna over the years, wild flowers etc, thanks to donations, a little hard work and the good old donations from Standish Community Forum.
Now Wigan Council come along with weed killer!
Why because for some crazy reason councils spend money on mowing the living day lights out of green areas rather than looking to the cheaper and more eco friendly way of keeping green areas looking good. Lets face it in urban areas a good well tended grass area looks nice. But it has to be well tended, it needs to have proper borders and look like someone cares about it. Aren’t these types of areas best suited to parks rather than public spaces. The amount of open grass areas that councils across the UK need to tend must run in to the tens of thousands of acres (I don’t know it may be more). All of these spaces do not in anyway help the bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects – not one jot. They simply cost money.
In this day and age with the use of weed killer and the changes in agriculture the population of pollinating insects is plummeting rapidly. Some may say – so what! However if we loose these insects we loose most of our food simple! If you want to read more take a read at this that I recently wrote for another blog of mine.
So what’s the solution? Easy instead of spending money and fuel mowing these unproductive grass areas why not turn them into wild flower meadows. Its cheaper and more productive, and personally I say much more beautiful. What do you think … the above image with badly tended unproductive grass or something like the one on the right. Its a a better solution – the insects win, councils save money and of course if the insects win we keep our fruit!
All in all the project has been worth while but really its never over, it could do with more gravel to fill in the worn areas (not a lot really) and it would be really good to get more people collecting litter. Today from only a small area of the line my 7 year old daughter picked 5 bags of litter alone. WHY OH WHY OH WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO THROW LITTER!!!! I for one will never know, but if a 7 year old can gain a sense of achievement collecting litter I’m sure most adults can start to feel a little ashamed.
On a brighter note, whilst picking litter we both spotted nestled deep in the dog wood a thrush tightly sitting on her eggs – now that’s a sight for sore eyes and surely a sign that spring is just around the corner!
P.S – the whole area has seed distributed to help pollinating insects bought by me personally and planted with care. Lets see the flowers bloom.