Today Kent Wildlife Trust, along with other Wildlife Trusts, published a new report ‘Reversing the decline of insects’ which shows how people in every part of society, wherever they live, can take action to bring back insects. The report features success stories from Kent Wildlife Trust and various other organisations across the county and beyond. It drives the message that everyone, everywhere, is being asked to become an insect champion and demonstrates how there are already several champions across the country.
The report cites examples of farmers, communities, councils and charities that are boosting insect populations and proving that it can be done. A great example is Kent Wildlife Trust’s Bee Roads and Roadside Nature Reserves projects (p10), where along with partners including Kent County Council and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, they have established 146 Roadside Nature Reserves and 13 Bee Roads that are now providing important forage and refuge for insects, as well as other important wildlife.
Another featured case study is the Medway Catchment Pesticide Amnesty, coordinated by the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership (p29). This project is helping farmers across Kent safely dispose of any expired, unwanted or illegal chemicals by offering free, anonymous collections by a specialist contractor from working farms across the catchment.
The report comes at a critical time for insects. There is ongoing evidence of insect declines and the future of insects – and all life that depends on them – hangs in the balance as trade deals threaten to increase the use of insect-harming pesticides. Furthermore, the Agriculture Bill is progressing through Parliament, presenting a unique opportunity to ensure farmers pursue insect-friendly farming methods.
Today’s publication follows the ‘Insect declines and why they matter’ report, launched last year, which examined mounting evidence that insect populations are close to collapse and concluded that “the consequences are clear; if insect declines are not halted, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will collapse, with profound consequences for human wellbeing.”