Sustaining local biodiversity
Whilst urban areas are less biodiversity than wild areas, they do offer a
surprising range of different habitats and particularly in relation to parks and gardens, a diverse range of trees and flowering plants. This can be very beneficial for insects and species reliant on them. Whether we have a garden, a balcony or just a window sill, we can add to the biodiversity of where we live.
- Grow a variety of flowering plants, choosing those that are bee/ butterfly friendly.https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/beefriendly-plants-every-season?source=FN2010051
- Opt for a selection of plants that ensures that throughout the seasons something is in bloom – this is beneficial for insects, such as bumble bees, that do not hibernate.
- Why not your front garden into a wild flower meadow? https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/three-ways-to-create-a-mini-meadow/
- Avoid using pesticides. By their nature they are poisonous to some creatures and may well be killing off a food supply which something else needs. Without aphids, lady birds can starve. Ditto caterpillars and small birds.
- Install or create bug and bee hotels, where insects can shelter and overwinter. If you have the space, create log piles where other creatures, such as frogs, toads, lizards etc can shelter. https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep/garden-activities/build-a-bug-hotel/
- If there hedgehogs locally, make sure there is gap in the bottom of your fence so that hedgehogs can move freely through all the gardens in your neighbourhood. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/link-your-garden/
- Don’t buy or use peat: depleting peat bogs both depletes the biodiversity of another habitat, it also destroys a highly effective carbon store.
- Set up feeders and water baths to support bird populations. You can also help them by installing bird boxes to supplement places where they can nest. Our modern buildings offer fewer gaps and crevices where previously birds would nest. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/nestboxes/nestboxes-for-small-birds/making-and-placing-a-bird-box/
- For the same reason, consider installing bat boxes.https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-build-bat-box
- If you have down pipes and open storm drains, consider creating a rain garden. As well as providing another habitat, it will also relieve some of the pressure of flooding during heavy down pours. https://www.wwt.org.uk/discover-wetlands/gardening-for-wetlands/how-to-make-a-rain-garden/
- Again if you have space, why not install a green roof?
- If you have the space consider creating a pond or bog area which will provide a further habitat for even more species. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-create-mini-pond
- Plant a tree/ trees or a hedge. These provide a whole range of habitats for different insects, birds and other creatures.
- Establish a compost heap. Not only will this allow you to recycle waste garden material to create nutritious compost for you soil, it will also provide a habitat for worms, beetles, centipedes etc.https://www.edenproject.com/learn/eden-at-home/how-to-make-a-compost-heap-10-top-tips
- If you haven’t got a garden, see if you can give any support for your local park or green space. Some will have programmes for volunteers.
- Or consider supporting a wildlife charity such as the Woodland Trust, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, or your local Wildlife Trust.
- Visit parks and gardens that support biodiversity and be inspired. Or visit a Rewilding project.