Where have all the flowers gone?
I chose to drive to see friends in Ayr on June 20, via the St Mary’s Loch scenic route. The Northumberland countryside was a delight from Shilbottle and onto the A697. I registered at least 10 species of wild flowers and plenty of birds and butterflies.
What a contrast when I turned for Kelso at Cornhill – no livestock, insects or birds in evidence. So different to how I remember, just field after field of arable crops, with no set-aside headland and no honeysuckle or dog roses in the hedges.
Could this be due to crop spraying or the use of seed impregnated with neonicotoid pesticides? The latter is being evaluated as to its effect on the bee population. Should we risk losing our main pollinators?
These amazing insects are already battling a virus and I consider that we should aim to give them every possible support.
Worryingly, Sussex University has found that of 29 types of garden plants sold as ‘perfect for pollinators’, more than 70 per cent contained neonicotoid insecticides.