Neston residents to bite back over Mosquito Sanctuary
|Published: 1st April 2011 00:01|
Neston & Parkgate residents are in uproar over signs establishing a mosquito sanctuary at Parkgate Marsh.
Signs are going up along Parkgate front to announce the new Mosquito
SanctuaryThe discovery of a species of mosquito thought to have been extinct since prehistory has brought about sweeping changes to plans to deal with the Parkgate Marsh pest problem.
The genus of mosquito, laevus fatua, was stumbled upon by students from Liverpool's School of Tropical Medicine whilst on a recent field trip to Parkgate.
Seth Brundle, Professor of Entomology at the School, labelled the discovery "astounding" and as providing "an extraordinary and unique research opportunity for the fields of entomology, medicine & palaeontology.
"Not since encountering the previously-believed extinct Coelocanth in 1938 has such an incredible discovery been made. It challenges scientific preconceptions about extinction, and the ability of species to survive, adapting to environmental changes over time."
The news comes as a shock to local residents who in recent years have been plagued by mosquitoes that breed on and around Parkgate Marsh. Authorities have rushed through 'endangered species' status for the rediscovered genus, which is to result in immediate and sweeping changes for Parkgate & Neston.
The sale- or use- of pesticides, insecticides or substances harmful to mosquitoes is to be prohibited within a three mile radius of Parkgate front. Council plans to install bat boxes have been mothballed and the World Wildlife Authority has commenced urgent consultation with the RSPB to arrange for the relocation of the indigenous bird population which poses a natural threat to mosquitoes.
In an attempt to mitigate predicted local resistance to the preservation order, the council has approved the funding of free, mosquito-friendly, bite soothing balm - an oil extracted from the Citronella plant via the Rapid Flow Distillation system.
The RapFlo Oil® is being bulk produced for free distribution to residents of the area via local chemists - which have been instructed to remove all previous mosquito remedies from their shelves.
It is hoped that the free provision of RapFlo Oil® will allay the fears of residents over the creation of a new Mosquito Sanctuary at Parkgate.
Signs are in the process of being erected along Parkgate Front - and it is hoped that the habitat of the rediscovered insect can be an economic boon to the area, attracting mosquito-spotters and creating a new market of mosquito-related merchandise, including 'I Love Mosquitos' t.shirts which will be available shortly at Nicholl's.
Local resident Gerald Stanfield said today: "I have lived here for over twenty years and been plagued by these creatures throughout that time.
"My wife and I were walking the dog just yesterday and were staggered to see the signs going up on the front at Parkgate. These draconian measures are clearly bureacracy gone mad.
"We've even been told that there will be a ban on using citronella candles in our own garden! We are going to fight this all the way."
A hastily organised pressure group, tentatively entitled 'Buzz Off', is to make representations to the council, strenuously opposing the developments. A spokesperson said: "We had an alternative name in mind but decided that approach probably wouldn't get us anywhere."