DOC­U­MENT­ING LOSS

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days -

I have spent 25 years mak­ing my gar­den as wildlife-friendly as I can and I have iden­ti­fied al­most 30 bird species on my feed­ers. I have also sat out dur­ing the evening with a bat de­tec­tor lis­ten­ing to pip­istrelles hunt­ing, and have pho­tographed visit­ing squir­rels, hedge­hogs, foxes and bad­gers, mainly due to the rail­way cut­ting at the end of the gar­den act­ing as a wildlife cor­ri­dor.

The bats dis­ap­peared a few years ago when de­vel­op­ers built a new hous­ing es­tate in the fields be­yond the rail­way, grub­bing out a hedge where bats roosted in old trees. In re­cent weeks, Net­work Rail has re­moved growth from the rail­way cut­ting down al­most to the last blade of grass. Sawn-off tim­ber has been shred­ded so not even logs re­main to pro­vide for in­sect life.

Con­se­quently, what was once a use­ful wildlife cor­ri­dor has been turned into a desert. The bullfinches have gone, along with the great tits and robins.

We try to con­trib­ute to the wel­fare of wildlife, do­ing what we can in our own small way, just to wit­ness it all be­ing swept away in a mat­ter of days by an act of cor­po­rate van­dal­ism.

Paul Jen­nings, War­wick­shire

Ed­i­tor Fer­gus Collins replies: This is sadly a very com­mon tale and re­veals once again the low value placed on wildlife habi­tats.

Bird­feed­ers are the first step to a wildlife­friendly gar­den

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