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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Badger andThe death of the Leylandii?

Hilary Benn has opted not to cull Badgers. I am not qualified to comment on whether the cull is needed or not. My own view point stems that from the view we should not automatically be going out to kill something to solve our problem.

Anyway Badgers are popular at the moment. You can watch them on the telly frolicking about. Farmers, who are a bit miffed, have an image as a miserable bunch always moaning and anyway their effing tractors are so slow and we get stuck behind them for miles on the road. (Tongue in my cheeek dear reader).

If you were a minister in an unpopular government who would you back.

It has been the cause of many disputes between neighbours (i have a leylandii but it is kept to the height of the but the fence) Leylandii may be under threat.

Cypress Aphids from southern Europe are by feasting on the sap, turning its leaves brown and eventually killing it. Why it should suddenly be happening now is a bit of a mystery since the aphids have been prevalent in the South and East of England since the 19th century.

Dr Jean Fitzgerald from East Malling Laboratories said:

It's not clear whether they are injecting a toxin into the plant or whether they are damaging its water transport system, which then kills it.

The aphid is a real pest in Mediterranean countries and parts of Africa, where it can wipe out entire populations. But here not much is known about it.

We're still not sure whether it's a problem that's always been there, but not been noticed before, or whether it really is getting worse, perhaps due to warmer springs.

I did chuckle at this comment from Bunny Guinness a panelist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time

.... and because they're not indigenous you don't get much wildlife associated with them.

Now correct if I'm wrong but whenever I see a gardening programme on TV they are planting stuff that is hardly ever indigenous. Although I'll admit that Leylandii are not attractive they do grow quickly and you just have to cut the things once a year to keep them under control. With a pair of electric clippers it doesn't take that long.


Jan said...

The farmers here will be well chuffed that the badger cull is going ahead. They won't be satisfied though until anything that moves and doesn't earn them money is eradicated from the face of the earth.

There will be one less badger to be murdered here anyway, there was one poor bugger run over in the road at the entrance to the farm track on Saturday morning. Picked him up and put him in the field to save something else being run over whilst they fed on him, but nothing has touched him so far....

Geoff said...

I think Leylandii is quite attractive actually, and very popular as a nesting site too esp. for blackbirds and dunnocks. I was thinking about planting a mixed hedge but realise it will take many years, so may opt for Leylandii instead.

Anna said...

According to all the proper scientific evidence I've seen, a badger cull would make the problem worse (if badgers even cause TB in cattle in the first place) because once members of their family get killed, infected badgers tend to move on.

But farmers want something to blame, and badgers are easy. Much easier to shoot some badgers than to vaccinate cows, stop moving cows which haven't been health-checked around the country and worry about hygiene, etc.