How we could save Rook­wood

West Sussex County Times - - Opinion - JOHN SCUILLO DRRFSMITH

Well, the virus has seen many us­ing the time to re­lax and look in the gar­den.

Well, take a long hard look, be­cause a lot of the in­sects, bugs, what­ever are only a per­cent­age of what you would have seen in the not too dis­tant past. We are killing our in­sects to our detri­ment.

Many are of course re­garded as pests and I agree that los­ing tended fruit and veg­eta­bles to out­side ‘vis­i­tors’ is ir­ri­tat­ing; how­ever, they do feed preda­tors fur­ther up the food chain.

The dan­ger is that by overkill, we will lose the preda­tors and when they go, the pests will mul­ti­ply ex­po­nen­tially.

Sure, we can spray and try to poi­son them out of ex­is­tence, but re­mem­ber about a third of our food is pol­li­nated by in­sects.

China is ex­per­i­ment­ing with mini ro­bots to pol­li­nate crops as man­ual labour is in­suf­fi­cient to com­pletely pol­li­nate cor­rectly.

Our hedgerows need to be in­creased, verges mowed less (a sav­ing for the county) and more man­ual weed­ing rather than spray­ing.

The build­ing on Rook­wood de­stroys more wildlife. I fail to un­der­stand how, when de­stroy­ing ‘na­ture’ by con­struct­ing prop­er­ties that the pro­pos­als in­clude ‘en­hanc­ing bio­di­ver­sity’ and men­tion­ing ‘sus­tain­abil­ity’ can be used within any rel­e­vant con­text.

Cli­mate change re­ally is small change when com­par­ing to the whole­sale de­struc­tion of habi­tat and pop­u­la­tion of our wildlife.

Hardly ever, now, do we see hedge­hogs, slow worms, lacewings, drag­on­flies, frogs, toads, newts, and the va­ri­ety of birds that were present even five years ago.

We no longer cut the grass on the verge out­side our prop­erty, we have piles of dead wood, pay WSCC to plant trees in our road, buy la­dy­birds and lacewings to re­lease in our gar­den.

Of course, they fly away, but over the past five years they are sud­denly vis­i­ble in our gar­den. A small suc­cess story.

We are not tree hug­gers, sim­ply de­sire our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren to have a rea­son­able de­cent en­vi­ron­ment to live in – if they chose to re­main in Hor­sham.

I think a sober­ing thought is that if all hu­mans die to­mor­row, then na­ture will ‘come back’ and the planet will con­tinue and re­vert to equi­lib­rium.

When we have killed off in­sects, the earth will con­tinue down the de­struc­tion route and hu­mans will die out.

We need to have hedges planted, ar­eas linked to en­able wildlife to have a cor­ri­dor and only build min­i­mal build­ings which need to be en­ergy neu­tral.

Some­thing we could all do though is to buy Rook­wood from Hor­sham District Coun­cil and the joint owner, and with the way of the In­ter­net now (crowd fund­ing), raise the sum re­quired and pre­serve it for our­selves and de­scen­dants.

It could be that the part owner would be happy to re­main as part owner and not sell their half? Power to the peo­ple! Bit rev­o­lu­tion­ary eh? would limit the de­liv­ery of homes’.

Covid-19 and its cat­a­strophic con­se­quences is an ‘ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stance’, that is be­yond the coun­cil’s con­trol.

Ac­cord­ingly, as is per­mit­ted by the ‘guid­ance’, the coun­cil should it­self de­ter­mine what the district’s hous­ing need is (e.g. not de­cide ar­bi­trar­ily), and sub­mit it to the Plan­ning In­spec­torate with a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion as a part of the pro­posed local plan, for scru­tiny at the Ex­am­i­na­tionin-Pub­lic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.