By Dr Heather Wood
Friday, May 11, 2012
LETTERS From Heather Wood (Dr), Ryde:I believe the council officer opposed to lending ducks a helping hand in Ventnor is the same Matthew Chatfield who, I believe, has a lack of interest in conserving wildlife in Puckpool Park. The council oversaw the unnecessary cutting down of scores of trees in the Dell some years ago and recent wholesale removal over winter of attractive shrubs and ground cover that helped prevent soil erosion and provided food, cover and nesting sites for native birds and small mammals. Although much of Puckpool now looks green and verdant after the spring rain, the damage to wildlife happened in the winter and some locations where the shrubs have been removed are now muddy and unattractive, and the rockery is becoming covered in weeds and brambles. I am sure the removal of ground cover and burning of piles of cut branches etc. every year has contributed to the demise of our much lamented hedgehogs. We are not so naive as to want Puckpool to become an uncontrolled and unattractive jungle but neither do we want it to be sterile and barren. With a little more thought there could be a happy medium. Both residents on the Island and visitors want to enjoy the parks and many are also animal lovers and keen on the environment and wildlife. We have already lost numerous gardens to car parking and housing and many of our hedgerows have been damaged or destroyed. It wouldn’t necessarily cost more money to have a more wildlife-friendly philosophy in at least some of our local parks and take some practical measures to maintain or develop these areas as wildlife corridors and semi-protected habitats. For example, the council could cut back less, leave more ‘rough’ areas, plant shrubs that attract bees and butterflies and allow ivy, which provides cover for invertebrates and hence food for birds, to colonise the slopes of the monument and the Dell. Perhaps councillors could question whether the current approach has got the balance right and ask advice from bodies such as the Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust, particularly before the cutting back and burning next winter?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
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