Wednesday, 21 September 2011

River Buffer Zones for Wildlife

River Itchen near Cheriton Mill - Mike Parsons at

An idea came to me a few days ago. I thought it would be a Good Thing if every watercourse in the country had a buffer zone around it where no fertilisers or pesticide could be used. Six metres on either side would be a good size, I decided, for no particular reason. Wetland - terrestrial transitions (ecotones) are particularly rich in wildlife, so this would be a good way to protect them. As well as prevent some of the dodgy chemicals ending up in the water. And it would create a widened wildlife corridor. It was what the uncouth would call a "no-brainer."

The idea came, was developed in a couple of minutes, and then I parked it under the heading "good ideas that will never happen."

Then, browsing the HMGov e-petitions site, I came across this petition: Create Wildlife River Buffer Zones. It amounts to the same thing, except promises compensation for farmers (I'm not sure about that). Anyway, I signed it, of course.

The threshold for petitions to generate a debate in Parliament is 100,000 signatories. When I signed up to the Create Wildlife River Buffer Zones petition, it had a grand total of 10 signatories. Presumably it now has 11.

Still, it doesn't close till next August...

Update 23.iv.2012: 27 signatories. It's not looking good.

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