Insects to Die Out?
A recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation suggests that all insects across the world could be extinct within a century. More than 40% of species are in decline and one third are endangered. The total mass of insects is falling by 2.5% each year, eight times the decline of mammals, birds and reptiles. The causes are intensive agriculture, climate change and urbanisation. This analysis is likely to lead to further banning of pesticides following on from that of neonicotinoid insecticides. The human population could not survive if insects became extinct.
Vegans Condemn Renewable Energy
The latest target for the militant vegan campaign is renewable energy, a little surprising one might think. However, a rapidly growing source of renewable energy is anaerobic digestion plants such as the one near Andover, said to be the largest in Europe. All manner of feedstock is used in the process, including animal waste, slurry for example. Militant vegans object to this as exploitation of animals.
Court Case Judgement
Bill Tyrwhitt-Drake, owner of the Bereleigh Estate in Hampshire and very well known in country sports circles, was taken to court by a neighbour who complained about the noise created by shooting on the estate, both game and clay pigeons. After hearing from noise acoustic experts on both sides of the argument, the court found in favour of the estate, allowing shooting to continue. The judgement after two years came as a great relief to the family and to other shoots across the country and may become a significant precedent for the future.
Big Farmland Bird Count
The Big Farmland Bird Count organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has held last week, from 8th to 17th February. Farmers, gamekeepers and others were asked to spend thirty minutes counting and recording all the birds that they could see over their land. Responses are still being examined but last year over 1,000 people took part and recorded 121 species over 950,000 acres. Now in its sixth year, the Big Farmland Bird Count can show trends as well as a single snapshot.