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Nature Recovery Gardening Pledge

Nature Recovery Gardening Pledge

Nature Recovery Gardening Pledge: Written by Julia Davies, We have the power

Our wildlife is under threat from climate change, habitat loss and harmful pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers. Bird, mammal and insect numbers have plummeted and continue to fall.

But there are things you can do to help in your outdoor space.

  • Resist tidying up too early – wait until temperatures are consistently above 10°C or 50°F. Many butterflies, bees and other pollinators overwinter in the dead leaves and hollowed out stems of last year’s plants.
  • Don’t cut back hedges, trees and other vegetation during bird nesting season, from March to August. Birds may be nesting in your trees, shrubs, ivy, hedges, nest boxes, under eaves and on the roof. Trim hedges once a year in winter, if needed – this also gives wildlife the chance to eat any berries.
  • Garden slow - just by mowing your lawn less (particularly leaving it un-mowed for longer in Spring) and setting your mower at a higher setting, you provide more food for wildlife and make your lawn more resilient to drought.
  • Collect rainwater in water butts or other containers and conserve tap water (and so CO2 emissions) by using a watering can instead of a hose to water the garden. Consider plants and planting methods that reduce the need to water.
  • Love your wildflowers, including dandelions and daisies. Often dismissed as weeds, these are the plants that are supposed to be there and can be the most useful for wildlife, especially in the Spring.
  • Provide water - ponds are great, but even small water containers will help wildlife.
  • Provide shelter - logs, leaf and twig piles provide a safe home for wildlife, especially over the winter.
  • Leave the leaves - leaf litter is an important sanctuary for insects, which in turn are essential food for birds, butterflies and other wildlife like frogs and toads. Let them rot down in a corner of your garden to provide a great hibernation spot for toads, newts and queen bumblebees, not to mention great worm food and compost for next year.
  • Avoid leaf blowers - they blast all life in their path potentially harming insects in the leaf litter and soil and the noise and dust is disruptive to wildlife and neighbours alike.
  • Go chemical free - if it kills weeds and “pests” then its potentially hazardous to other wildlife too. Avoid synthetic fertilizers, which have a huge CO2 footprint and are major pollutants. Why not try mulches and homemade liquid fertilizer instead?
  • Love hedgehogs - don't use slug pellets. Consider plants less tasty to slugs or try non-toxic alternatives like eggshells, coffee grinds or gravel.
  • Avoid buying plants and compost in plastic. Fetes, car boot sales and charity plant sales are great for buying plants in re-used plastic pots. Talk to your local garden centre about reducing plastic in the plants they sell and offering compost loose – refill style – so you can refill your own old compost or dog food bags.
  • Don't buy plants or seeds sprayed/coated with pesticides - ask your garden centre to supply plants that aren’t, and in the meantime plant-swap with friends and family.
  • Make your own compost using food waste, weeds, dried grass etc. If you must buy, look for the “Peat Free” label. Peatlands are our “tropical rainforests” – they absorb and store carbon, alleviate flooding and support remarkable communities of plants and animals.
  • Make it communal – to provide corridors for nature – try and encourage neighbours to make “gardening for nature” a community effort.
  • Food for us - grow your own fruit and veg to help cut down on food miles, tackle the Climate Emergency and reduce packaging waste.
  • Food for wildlife - plant a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that flower and fruit at different times of the year - providing food for insects, mammals and birds all year round.

Nature’s Super-heroes

Listed below are some plants that will help support pollinators, birds and other wildlife in your garden:

 


Trees, shrubs, climbers

Abelia (Bee Bush)

Apple, cherry, plum or other fruit trees

Bramble

Buddleia

Dogwood

Hawthorn

Honeysuckle

Lavender

Mahonia

Pussy Willow

Bulbs

Crocus

Daffodil

Grape Hyacinth

Snowdrop

Wildflowers / Plants

Clovers

Comfrey

Cornflower

Cowslip

Field Speedwell

Foxglove

Honesty

Ivy

Lesser Celandine

Nettles

Teasel

Vipers Bugloss

White Deadnettle

Wood forget-me-not

Yarrow

Other Flowers / Plants

Borage

Catmint

Common Bistort

Dahlia

Dandelions

Eryngium

Foxglove

Globe Thistle

Hardy Fuchsia

Hardy Geranium

Helenium

Ice Plant

Lungwort

Monarda – ‘Bee Balm’

Perennial Wallflower

Phacelia

Poached Egg Plant

Sedum

Sunflower

Winter Aconite

Winter-Flowering Hellebore

Herbs

Chives, oregano

Marjoram, tarragon

Rosemary

Sage

Fruit and Veg

Currants

Gooseberries

Raspberry

Strawberry

 

Artichokes

Broad Beans

Kale

Runner Beans

 

Julia Davis Nature Recovery Gardening Pledge

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