British songbirds declining


According to a study, garden pesticides are contributing to the decline of British songbirds.

People should adopt wildlife-friendly practices instead of “spraying gardens with poison,” according to scientists.

A study suggests that pesticide-using gardeners are contributing to the decline of British songbirds.

In order to halt the decline of birds and adopt practices that are beneficial to wildlife, scientists have urged people to stop “spraying their gardens with poison.”

The University of Sussex’s study, which was called the first of its kind and was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found that gardeners who use pesticides will probably see fewer birds.

The examination, which studied 615 nurseries in England, found 25% less house sparrows when glyphosate was utilised routinely. This is a component that can be found in brands of common herbicides like Gallup or Roundup.

Bird sightings also seemed to be affected by slug pellets; The number of house sparrows in gardens that used metaldehyde slug pellets decreased by nearly 40%.

The British Trust for Ornithology, which runs Garden BirdWatch, a citizen science garden bird recording program, provided the data used by the researchers. They found that 53% of respondents used glyphosate-based herbicides and that 32% of respondents used pesticides in their gardens.

Prof Dave Goulson, of the school of life sciences at the University of Sussex, said: “The UK has 22 million gardens, which collectively could be a fantastic refuge for wildlife, but not if they are overly tidy and sprayed with poisons. We just don’t need pesticides in our gardens. Many towns around the world are now pesticide free. We should simply ban the use of these poisons in urban areas, following the example of France.”

Pesticides and herbicides, according to the UK’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society, should be avoided whenever possible and used sparingly and specifically.

The study also found that people saw more birds when they used wildlife-friendly methods like planting native flowers and shrubs or digging a wildlife pond.

Cannelle Tassin de Montaigu, a PhD researcher within the school of life sciences and an author of the study, said: “It’s encouraging to find that simple measures, such as planting native shrubs and trees and creating a pond, together with avoiding the use of pesticides, really make a measurable difference to the number of birds you will see in your garden.”

Gardeners play a crucial role in the fight against the loss of biodiversity; Gardens are larger than all of our national nature reserves, covering approximately 400,000 hectares (988,421 acres). Overall, the breeding bird population in the UK has decreased by 19 million since the late 1960s, and the number of house sparrows has decreased by 70 percent since the 1970s, losing 10.7 million pairs.



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The declines in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their declines towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect for the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

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