Did you know that 75% of bees, butterflies and other friendly insects live in urban gardens? More and more of us are moving into urban areas with 68% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050. The same is happening here at home with Richmond upon Thames also on the rise.
This puts a lot of pressure on green areas which are crucial for protecting biodiversity (a term used to refer to a wide variety of plant and animal species living in their natural environment).
Loss of green areas is particularly bad news for pollinators, animals that help plants reproduce by moving pollen from one plant to another. Over the last 30 years, more than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered due to a loss of habitat, our use of pesticides, climate change and the way we grow and source natural resources. Without pollinators such as bees and butterflies, crops including apples, soft fruits, beans, courgettes, tomatoes and strawberries would be harder to grow and more expensive to buy.
Here are some ways that you can help reduce your carbon footprint when outside:
More and more of us are choosing to pave over our front gardens or swap natural grass for plastic grass (artificial turf). Let nature be nature by sticking to natural grass and avoid cutting down trees and hedges. Not only will wildlife love you for it, you will also reduce your risk of flash flooding.
Not a green bone in your body? Not to worry, growing is all about trowel and error. Read some simple tips to get you started. Not sure what to grow?
Why not start a mini wildflower meadow and create a home for insects, birds and small animals that will look gorgeous too?
Avoid using herbicides, pesticides or slug pellets, and limit the use of weed-killer wherever you can. These tend to kill both the bad guys (pests) and good guys (insects) so it’s better to use a natural option.
Loss of habitat is the number one threat to wildlife. Welcome wildlife to your garden by adding a bird box, woodpile, pond or bug hotel. Fancy making your own? Here’s a simple guide to making your own bird feeder and making your own bug hotel.
Your plants will thank you and you will save money on your water bill too. Pick one up from your local DIY shop.
Updated: 02 July 2020