LETTERS: Protect the ants

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FOR the past 25 years I have visited the woodlands and commons located near Hoyle, by the sides of New Road which is just between Heyshott and South Ambersham, near Midhurst.

The coniferous woods were home to some very large nests of our local wood ant species, formica rufa.

These ants are vital to the local environment as they kill thousands of tree pests and so aid the delicate eco-system of the flora and fauna.

I was shocked to find that last year over 75 per cent of the nests of these ants had vanished, either through bad management of the local forests, or by the invasion of gorse bushes causing so much shade that the ant colonies seem to have died out.

The local body that controls this area is in Midhurst, but I cannot remember the name of the organisation.

I do feel, however, that the power of the press might help to bring this situation to light, as any emails I send to wildlife trusts have not helped.

Ants have been around on this planet since the age of the dinosaurs and as such, I feel that all forms of wildlife should be protected for the future of those who follow us to enjoy.

Allan Wootton

Croft Mead

Chichester