Wetter weather results in more moles

Basingstoke Gazette: Wetter weather results in more moles Wetter weather results in more moles

MORE moles and fewer baby blackbirds – those are some of the findings of a national wildlife survey that included Basingstoke.

This year, almost 250 Basingstoke residents took part in the RSPB’s annual Make Your Nature Count survey.

Conducted in the first week of June, participants were asked to record birds and other wildlife they saw in their gardens. The results show the number of gardens with young thrush, blackbirds, robins or song thrushes has decreased.

Swift sightings were down by about 10 per cent compared to last year. Swifts are already on the amber-list of conservation concern and there is concern that it has been a devastating breeding season in the UK this year.

Wildlife charity RSPB, says the drop may be a result of wet and cold weather early in the breeding season. However, the wetter weather this year has actually allowed some creatures to thrive as moles were reported in nearly 12 per cent of the Basingstoke gardens surveyed.

Wetter weather would have made the ground softer and easier to dig through, and meant an increase in the number of earthworms available. Hedgehogs also benefitted from more slugs and the damp earth resulted in an abundance of food for them.

Samantha Stokes, spokeswoman for RSPB South East, said: “Every participant involved in Make Your Nature Count has helped to give us data on a scale that just wouldn’t be possible if we tried to collect it in any other way. It’s really useful as a snapshot of how UK wildlife fared this summer.”

To find out more about the survey visit rspb.org.uk/naturecount.

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