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I was rather concerned when, last month, I read a report that ecologists were concerned the slug and snail populations may have been devastated by the summer heatwaves and drought (The Guardian, 27 September 2022). Though I’m sure many gardeners would rejoice at this news, their slimy little enemies do play an essential part in our ecosystems, breaking down vegetation and aerating soils, as well as being food for birds, hedgehogs, etc. Fortunately, for the slugs and snails, they are apparently excellent reproducers so their populations should bounce back next year. Still, I was really pleased to spot this handsome Large red slug (Arion rufus) sliding along the path during yesterday’s walk.

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