Help end de­cline in bird num­bers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

CON­CRET­ING over your front gar­den could be killing off the lo­cal bird pop­u­la­tion. That is the warn­ing from the RSPB to Kent house­hold­ers as the bird pop­u­la­tion plum­mets while the num­ber of pa­tios in the South East rises. Around a fifth of front gar­dens in the re­gion are now mostly con­crete, which the char­ity fears may limit the avail­abil­ity of in­sects for birds to feed their young with. Num­bers of song thrushes, house spar­rows and star­lings have all plum­meted in Kent over the last 30 years, par­tic­u­larly in ur­ban ar­eas, where paving over front gar­dens to pro­vide ex­tra park­ing is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon. The RSPB is now wel­com­ing tough new leg­is­la­tion, which comes into law on Wed­nes­day, that re­quires any­one wish­ing to lay con­crete over their front gar­dens to get plan­ning per­mis­sion, al­though this will not be re­quired for sur­faces that al­low wa­ter to seep through and plants to grow. Hester Phillips, of RSPB South East, said: “We wel­come the new mea­sure be­cause it will pro­tect land that sup­ports our frag­ile ur­ban wildlife, and will also help ad­dress flash flood­ing.

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