Eric Brown is back with his Wild Things column - this time discussing some of the amazing creatures we see in SE London and north Kent which are under threat.

Scanning a newspaper or news website can be really depressing for wildlife enthusiasts.

Skimming through news sections at the end of last month I read about plans to build houses on wildlife-friendly Old Farm Park in Sidcup just a Jordan Pickford goal kick away from my home.

Plans to concrete over green space in Belvedere for 70 flats are expected to go ahead and a new incinerator is proposed for wildlife-rich Abbey Wood/Belvedere marshes.

And that’s just in a small area of Bexley borough. Other boroughs have similar projects.

If we continue chucking concrete around at our present rate, future generations of schoolchildren will need education in what “green” actually means.

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No wonder our insects are disappearing as fast as a Usain Boult sprint. A recent announcement that insects could be extinct in 100 years set me wondering about the implications if the University of Sydney’s shock conclusion becomes reality.

Their investigation, published in the journal Biological Conservation, reviewed 73 previous studies before concluding there’s a worldwide insect crisis.

Insects are crucial to all ecosystems because of their vital role in pollinating plants, flowers and crops. The report found insects declined by 2.5 per cent over the past 25-30 years, chiefly blaming habitat loss, urbanisation, climate change and especially indiscriminate pesticide use.

How will our wildlife world look without insects? Bats, deprived of their key food, will be among the first to go. Butterflies like peacock, red admiral and holly blue will no longer brighten gardens. No dragonflies will skim over our rivers and few fresh water fish will survive with their prime food source gone. Specialist insect-eating birds like pied and spotted flycatcher, redstart and green woodpecker would surely become extinct.

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Most frightening of all would be the impact on humans. It has been said that if bees were to die out then the human race would follow in years. We can only hope farmers and gardeners heed this warning to stop indiscriminate pesticide use.

If we don’t take action then in the words of Dad’s Army’s Private Fraser: “You’re doomed, all of ye.”