Editor’s note: This letter is addressed to Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope and CAO Don Shropshire.
Sir: Re: Excessive cutting of ditch banks in Chatham-Kent.
I live just outside of the city limits of Chatham, in a rural area. I’m sure a lot of people have noticed, like I have, the complete change in the rural landscape. Not that long ago, there used to be a lot of bush lots, tree rows and ditch banks with tall grass (cattails, endangered plants, etc.) in them.
Now, the landscape is flat field with the odd tree here and there (even the tree rows have been destroyed).
First, wildlife had to move from the bush lots to the tree rows and now they are being scared from the ditch banks. Where do they go next?
In the last month or so, I have never seen so much wildlife being hit on the road. Their homes and nests are being destroyed by what appears to be senseless mowing of road shoulders and ditch banks.
I can see mowing where it interferes with traffic sight lines, but what purpose does it serve otherwise? In my opinion, the natural look of the grasses, cattails, etc. is much more pleasing to the eye than the piles of rotting vegetation along our roadways.
This mowing of roadsides and ditches is destroying nesting areas for several species of birds. It not only destroys wildlife habitat but it also destroys the natural filtration of the water through these ditches.
My husband and I took a drive the other week into another municipality on the way to London. What a wonderful surprise it was to see all the trees and natural landscape and minimal ditch cutting as soon as you cross that line out of Chatham-Kent.
Maybe if everybody works together we can protect what is left of our natural habitat.