Slugs Are Big Winners Of A Wet 2012

Gerard Tubb, North of England Correspondent

Experts are warning that this year's unusually wet weather could affect Britain's wildlife and gardens for years to come.

As a  National Trust survey shows 2012 has been "hugely challenging" for wildlife, gardeners from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) say some trees are dying because their roots are so wet.

Matthew Oates, Naturalist at the National Trust, said: "This has been a highly polarised year, with wildlife in the places we look after doing either remarkably well or incredibly badly.

"In general, plants and slugs were the big winners and insects the big losers. But even in this wet summer some insects did surprisingly well, at least in a few places."

At Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, gardener Alison Moodie showed off yew trees that have died in the saturated soil and warned that displays of bulbs will be affected in the spring.

"The squirrels are digging up the bulbs and eating them because they can't find acorns," she explained.

"Some plants, like the willows, have done very well, but others have really suffered."

The National Trust says the big winner in 2012 has been the slug, with reports of a giant Spanish super slug invading our back gardens, while many birds have suffered, with nests washed away and food scarce.

It reports that mammals have also had a mixed year, with populations of bats, water voles, otters, hedgehogs and dormice all suffering because of the extended wet weather.


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