Why do we do it? It consumes countless hours of our lives. It must cost millions. Every hedge neatly trimmed, every verge carefully mown, every ‘weed’ meticulously eradicated. Obsessive Tidiness Disorder (OTD) is everywhere – and it’s choking our wildlife.
Widely-reported research has led some to suggest we are “on course for ecological Armageddon”. Behind these headlines: an analysis of a German dataset spanning nearly three decades, which detected a 76 percent plummet in biomass of flying insects. So is now the time to build our apocalypse bunkers?
Insects play a unique role across terrestrial habitats. They are integral to most food chains and provide vital services, such as pollination. Their sensitivity to environmental change makes them the ‘canary in the coal mine’.
If the research findings from Germany are indicative of the health of insect populations globally, the implications for ecosystems and human wellbeing are likely to be catastrophic.