Solution to slugs
While research is ongoing into alternative methods of controlling these voracious pests, I have an infallible, albeit small-scale, solution. In strategic areas of my garden I have sunk pots full of out-of-date beer (a sacrilege to some, I know).
These pots are made from old plastic bottles cut in half – deep enough to hold diluted beer but too deep for the inebriated slugs to climb back out. I assure you that this method is amazingly effective – scores of slugs enjoy their final drink every night in these traps and my plants no longer have leaves that look like lace. There is only one side-effect of this method – one of the sunken traps appears to be on a trail used by a neighbourhood cat and the contents need replenishing very frequently.
The cat appears to be gaining weight but, as it now spends most of its time sleeping, the garden birds appear to be benefiting – so a very satisfactory result all round.