Wildlife Gardening - Care for the Environment

(c) Paul Hetherington

Make Choices in Your Garden that Help the World Beyond Your Garden Wall

The effects of choices you make in your garden don’t stop at your fence. Recycling and putting a little thought into sourcing can help save the environment (and often your bank balance!)

Here are a few straightforward things you can do in your garden to reduce your impact on the environment and support wildlife.

Cut down on your water use. Our tap water comes from ground water and freshwater habitats. Taking too much out has a serious impact on wetlands and aquatic insects, and new evidence suggests that we’re heading towards greater shortages in the future. So:
– Water plants in the evenings when less moisture will evaporate.
– Get a water butt to harness rainwater for your garden.
– Use ‘grey water’ from washing up to water potted plants.
–  Avoid using sprinklers. If you water your grass, making it into a bee-lawn can reduce how thirsty it is.

Choose native plants and don’t include invasive species. Non-native species such as Rhododendron, Spanish Bluebell and some pond plants can spread beyond your garden and out-compete more bug-friendly plants.

Start a compost heap. Your garden and kitchen waste will provide a home for a lot of bugs, which in turn will reward you with rich compost.

Recycle pots, bricks, stones, wood, chippings and clippings. They can be turned into great bug habitats .

Swap your plants and seeds. Plant and seed swaps are a brilliant, free way to get new species for your garden and improve biodiversity. If there isn’t one near you already, why not organise your own?

Ditch the peat. Many gardeners don’t think twice about using peat, but it’s harvested unsustainably and deprives many of Britain’s rarest and most spectacular insects of much-needed habitat. There’s loads of info on peat substitutes.

Leave the limestone. ‘Water-worn stone’ sold for garden rockeries is quarried from limestone pavements, which are also an important habitat for specialist invertebrates.

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