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Garden pesticides contribute to songbird decline

This article in the Guardian today saddened me.
(Click 'I'll do it later' to access the article).

I've been gardening organically for a number of years, and we have plenty of songbirds all around us, but I suspect that many new gardeners don't realise the damage that is caused by all those products lined up in garden centres and which they feel they have to buy for their gardens?  Just because it's not banned doesn't make it OK to use!
Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,354
    'How can I kill this' posts depress me

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,300
    Don't worry @nutcutlet  they are all down here.  Last summer many neighbours had an influx of swallows, starlings etc nesting in their houses, garages, sheds etc.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    edited 6 February
    I never use anything chemical in the garden, I hate the bloody stuff - especially slug pellets, which are detrimental to anything that eats the slugs. 
    I can understand, to a point, when people grow edibles they want most of the crop for themselves, but people can be too precious about aesthetic plants.
    Farming chemicals are killing so much important wildlife, I just want to encourage it and help it thrive.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,434
    Probably not half as much damage as builders chopping down every tree in sight.  My mother went into a new build 60 years ago. Despite planners claiming that  home owners will plant trees, and the wildlife will thrive,  she still only gets sparrows and starlings. Its a rare day if she sees anything else, and she still has fields surrounding the estate she is on.  Wildlife friendly gardens are the only chance they have,  astroturf and concrete patios won't cut it.
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,355
    OMG @fidgetbones - I had forgotten about astroturf!  Plastic grass is the devil's work!

    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,714
    I saw the article’s headline but couldn’t bring myself to read it.

    I suppose we can each only do our bit.  I haven’t used pesticides or insecticides (other than ladybirds and wasps) for as long as I can remember. My neighbour is a sprayer and won’t have it any other way. 🤦🏻
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,131
    Slug pellets and glyphosate are banned in France. My French garden is full of birds, as I discovered when I hung the fatballs up.

    There are a lot of birds too in OH's Norfolk garden but they ignore our bird food as NDN puts out masses and has done for the last 30 years.

    When I was tidying the long border I kept finding sleeping ladybirds nestled into the bottoms of old stems of plants so I didn't cut them down very low. There aren't many slugs in the Norfolk garden, maybe the birds eat them all. The soil is quite sandy so probably not that slug friendly.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    @fidgetbones absolutely! They also 'accidentally' cut down protected trees regularly now, and nothing at all gets done except possibly a small fine, which can go on expenses - that really grips my s***t. 
  • NormandyLizNormandyLiz Posts: 703
    Sadly, @Busy-Lizzie, although some garden chemicals are banned in France and I'm starting to see the equivalent of 'chemical free' signs in some villages, the farmers still spray to bits. Thankfully the field on 3 sides of our garden is cow pasture - it's too uneven for anything else - but just 100m or so away are cultivated fields. You can see the spray drifting across the pasture so I'm assuming some invisible droplets will make their way to us too. 

    Having said that, we get a range of birds although not many of each, plenty of butterflies including last year a swallowtail, and a generous smattering of insects so I suppose it's not too bad. 

    And as for astroturf! Don't even mention the stuff!
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,551
    As I have said on another related issue.  Silent Spring 70 years on and still as relevant as ever.
    The big problem I have is on the Allotments,  if neighbours spray then guess where all the bugs come to😆
    I  admit to using ferric phosphate pellets, though sparingly as possible.
     Sometime biological controls are  great but sometimes you control one thing and something else takes over. Nematodes work for slugs but the snails just get more prevalent without the competition. 
    AB Still learning

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