1) Feral parakeets taking over London, prompting concerns they'll push out native birdsAn increasingly common silhouette in British trees, ring-necked parakeets, pictured here in Kensington Gardens in central London, eat a varied diet of nuts, seeds, berries and the occasional household scrap. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Read here.
2) ‘Phony peach’: the disease that threatens to devastate Britain’s trees and plantsXylella fastidiosa can cause leaf scorch. Photograph: Alamy
It has caused severe damage to plants and trees in the US and southern Europe and now there are fears it is heading this way. With experts warning that it could make the devastating ash dieback disease seem like “a walk in the park”, the UK is on red alert for signs that Xylella fastidiosa has entered the country.
First confirmed in Europe three years ago when it ran rampant across olive plantations in southern Italy, a subspecies of Xylella has since been detected in southern France, where it has destroyed vines and lavender plants, and in Corsica. Xylella fastidiosa has also been found in both South and North America where it is commonly referred to as “phony peach disease” and where it has caused severe damage to citrus and coffee plantations. In New Jersey it has attacked more than a third of the state’s urban trees...Read more>>http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/14/uk-alert-phony-peach-disease