At last – some long overdue action on behalf of some of our tiniest creatures!

I was delighted to read at the weekend that a conservation charity is taking action in the High Court to defend the rights of bugs living alongside the Thames in Essex.

The charity, Buglife, says plans to build a new distribution centre for Royal Mail would concrete over an area the size of 15 footfall pitches and could spell extinction for a rare spider.

Now, I’m afraid I’m no spider lover.  I can happily pick up daddy-long-legs, moths and even earwigs but if I spot a spider I need to call in the cavalry !

But I wouldn’t ever kill a spider, however much they make me squirm. In fact, we have a hard and fast rule in our house about creepy crawlies – they are carefully escorted to the great outdoors…. even though hubby insists they come straight back inside when my back is turned 

Apparently, the West Thurrock marshes, where the development is planned, is one of only two of the rare spider’s habitats left in Britain – and the creature is on the government’s biodiversity conservation list  for species that need to be protected.

Buglife says the development would destroy almost three-quarters of the area that houses the spider (sitticus distinguendus) and 36 other species whose survival is under threat.

Matt Shardlow, director of Buglife, says: “Our planet is on the crest of the biggest extinction event since the dinosaurs died out.

“It is generally accepted that pushing species towards extinction is immoral; this case will tell us if our laws and planning policies enshrine this principle and protect the future health of the planet.”

He says a different site, which poses less harm to wildlife, needs to be chosen for the development.

Most people aren’t lovers of creepy crawlies but they have an important part to play in the life of our planet. One renowned entomologist, Edward O Wilson, says if they all disappeared, most other life forms, like amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals would also become extinct because of the domino effect that would occur in the food chain – and he concludes that humanity would not last for long.

So, save the bugs – that’s what I say !




  1. 1 PeteF March 3, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    I agree with what you say about bugs. There are some I don’t like, but I try not to kill them if I find them in the house. I don’t t mind spiders in the house, and even in my bedroom as long as they don’t crawl into my bed! I can even happily share the house with daddy long legs, providing they just mind their own business in their little corner. I am not keen on woodlice, so if I see them, I don’t touch them, but try to escort them out by getting them on to a piece of paper and putting them outside. But I’m afraid when it comes to insects that harm my plants, I am ruthless. I don’t use chemicals as I am an organic gardener, but I will use organic sprays such as insecticidal soaps, and for slugs I use beer traps. But mostly, I take a laissez-faire approach to insects – as long as they don’t harm me or my vegetables, I leave them alone.

  2. 2 Susan March 24, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hi Pete,

    Slugs cause a real problem in my garden – but I couldn’t bear to kill them. I’ve gone out in the rain before to scoop lots of them up and escort them off the property but it’s a losing battle 🙂
    couldn’t bear to kill them though so they wreak havoc with my plants!

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