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Research on insect spots shows a decrease in the number of insects

Conservation survey data has revealed a ‘worrying’ decline in insect numbers in Kent.

The annual Bugs Matter survey shows that the number of dead insects on license plates after a drive across the country has decreased by 89% in 20 years.

The latest survey, led by the Kent Wildlife Trust and the charity Buglife, was completed by hundreds of volunteers in Kent and across the UK.

A spokesperson for the Kent Wildlife Trust said the findings were “terribly alarming” and could have “devastating consequences”.

Since the first benchmark survey in 2004, analysis of data from almost 26,500 trips across Britain shows a continued decline in the number of insect spots.

In 2023, the number fell by 78% nationally.

According to Kent Wildlife Trust, insects are critical to the functioning and services of ecosystems.

A spokesperson said: “They pollinate crops, provide natural pest control, decompose waste and recycle nutrients, and support food chains that support birds, mammals and other wildlife.

“Without insects, the planet’s ecological systems would collapse.”

Dr. Lawrence Ball of Kent Wildlife Trust said: “These results are incredibly worrying and illustrate the scale of the crisis facing insect populations in Kent and Britain.

“Insects are critical to the survival of our planet as we know it – a world without insects is a shocking thought indeed.”

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