The UK Government is consulting on a draft for their National Action Plan in the reduction of pesticide use. Currently, this plan is not decisive enough to make the necessary impact needed to reduce stresses on wildlife. We believe that if nature is to be allowed the chance to make a healthy recovery, this plan must include an ambitious target towards reducing the overall use of pesticides. We want to see the Government deliver their commitments in phasing out pesticides in agriculture, public spaces, parks, homes and gardens.
What are pesticides?
Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill insects and other pests that cause harm to plants and crops. The majority are used in agriculture and farming, although they are also used in our parks, schools and gardens. The problem with pesticides is that they also harm other insects, the majority of which are not pests at all but are in fact extremely important to our ecosystem.
We know that pesticides cause extensive damage to insects and other wildlife – the evidence is compelling. Insects play a vital role in the food chain and without them our lives would be very different. They are a food source for birds, small mammals and other animals. A reduction of this link in the chain will cause devastation to many populations of species. The value of insects in the pollination of our flowers, fruits, vegetables and plants is also enormous. The process through which insects transfer pollen from one plant to another is crucial for the economy as well as our ecosystem.
The affects caused by pesticide use are more extensive than is widely discussed. The repercussions are extensive for many areas of our environment. Earthworms are important for the health of our soil and in distributing nutrients, however their reproduction appears to have been jeopardised by pesticide use. Butterfly populations have also experienced declines in line with the use of pesticides. Even our waterways are suffering from contamination due to run-off from fields, in turn causing damage to life in our streams, rivers and lakes.
It is easy to overlook the fact that the chemicals we use in our own homes can add to the wider problems to our wildlife. There are changes that we can all make to minimise our impact on nature, yet the biggest and most significant changes must come from our leaders in Government whilst establishing far-reaching policies and laws. You can help to influence the direction of this National Action Plan by sharing your opinion.
Follow this link to our online form, where we have made it easy for you to share your response with the consultation team: Sign the petition