Linked to light pollution. By Laurence Gale, TurfPro editor

I read a concerning story on the BBC website recently regarding the decline of our insect population due to light pollution,  that I thought would be worth pointing TurfPro readers in the direction of.

Entitled Light Pollution From Street lamps Linked To Insect Loss, scientists are saying light pollution may be contributing to "worrying" declines in insects seen in recent decades.

In a UK study, the report says artificial street lights were found to disrupt the behaviour of nocturnal moths, reducing caterpillars numbers by half. Modern LED streetlights appeared to have the biggest impact.

The piece goes on to say that there is growing evidence that insect populations are shrinking due to the likes of climate change, habitat loss and pesticides.

Factors are complex and varied it says, including the steady loss of forests, heathlands, meadows and marshes, overuse of pesticides, climate change and pollution of rivers and lakes.

The use of artificial lights at night-time has been proposed as another driver of insect decline, although the scale remains unclear.

I agree that as mentioned in the article, it is probably due to many other factors as well that we are seeing this decline. So how can we help?

I personally think that we need to look at what new habitats and biodiversity we can develop on our own sites. We can also stop with wall-to-wall grass mowing regimes, alter heights of cut and introduce some longer grass mowing policies.

We can also consider planting up margins with wildflower mixes as well as establishing more hedges and plantations. 

We need to find the balance of encouraging more wildlife and fauna on our site without losing the quality of playing surfaces and amenity facilities. 

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