Sunday Musings – It’s Time to Fix the Bugs

Sunday Musings – It’s Time to Fix the Bugs.  Last Summer, I went to Pulborough to join ‘Our Amazing Planet’, a service for children at St. Mary’s Parish Church, which I found very moving, when three small children in a beautiful calm space shyly declared their gratitude for nature.

I moved on from there to the Cowdray Estate at Midhurst, where I walked through a diverse meadow arboretum which had been planted around twenty years ago; a rolling private space, open to the public, it reminded me of my own childhood Sunday afternoons spent strolling in the Derbyshire Peak District.  What struck me though, was the lack of insects, the hum and the buzz, the background murmur of a myriad of insects and the colourful eye-catching fluttering that was such a strong part of those peaceful afternoons.

And when I got home that evening, looking at silent skies, where even a few years ago, would have been screaming swifts feeding on insects, the silence of the swifts and the absence of the pipistrelles was what I noticed. 

Before going to bed I checked my emails and learned why, WSCC will continue to spray glyphosate poison outside our homes to remove pavement weeds, unless as communities we agree to remove them ourselves…and this brought to mind a conversation I’d had at Cowdray about so many people now having serious allergies…something that kills insects efficiently can ultimately kill us as we need insects to live!  Silent Spring was written by Rachel Carson over sixty years ago to warn us of this moment.  Are we now approaching Silent Summer?

The church service had encouraged young families to protect and preserve nature, but I woke the next morning considering the way people use their leisure time, their hobbies.  Grouse shooting, for example, creates huge swathes of privately owned desert-like moors, yet are subsidised by the government. Similarly, pheasant shooting, where half a million non-native birds are imported annually, simply so they can be killed with dogs flushing out all the wildlife.  The dead birds may then be just thrown away or buried.  Killing for fun.  Where does that lead us?

The children at St Mary’s were asked what they are grateful for.  What I am grateful for is groups like Horsham Green Spaces (HGS) who are working to create pollinator flyways and the possibility of a Horsham branch of the Sussex Wildlife Trust is moving towards reality.  Keep in touch with Sussex Green Living in 2024 as they work with local businesses on similar projects like the Pollinator Palace Trail.

Together- let’s see if we can fix the bugs!




By Morag Warrack