Counting on ….day 178

10th May 2022

In a world where resources are limited, we need to avoid waste them.  One way is  to ‘make do and mend’. By repairing and maintaining and repurposing things we can prolong their useable lifespan before recycling them. This skilfully repaired dustbin belongs to a neighbour. The less skilfully repaired coffee filter is mine – gaffer tape can mend a lot of things. 

Counting on …day 175 

7th May 2022 

According to the recent review, the  State of the World’s Birds, 48% of bird species populations are in decline, 39% are stable,  6% showing increases whilst a further 7% have unknown trends. The major cause of decline in bird populations is the growing footprint of human consumption. Alexander Lee, of the Metropolitan University Manchester and leader of the review, says that people should not feel helpless: “We all have connections [to birds]. If a company is associated with deforestation in Brazil, don’t buy stuff from them,” he said. “And if everyone spares as much land as possible within their gardens for nature, then that adds up to quite a large area. Another lever is voting – we get the politicians we vote for.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/05/canaries-in-the-coalmine-loss-of-birds-signals-changing-planet

 Counting on …day 174

6th  May 2022

As a prolonged period of hot dry weather is forecast, the RSPB is inviting us to provide extra help for the migratory birds that are arriving in the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/mud-pies-for-house-martins/

The RSPB is urging the public to get their hands dirty this weekend and create mud pies to help endangered birds such as house martins, swifts and swallows get enough sludge to build their nests.

A nine-day mini-heatwave is hitting the UK, which coincides with the return of migratory birds here to breed. Many of these birds have flown thousands of miles on their journey. But conservationists are concerned that the ground is getting so hard it could stop them from being able to make their nests.

By leaving out dishes of mud mixed with water, or creating little puddles in the garden, the public can make a big difference, said Becca Smith, of the RSPB. “It’s the easiest thing that people can do to help these birds after they’ve flown all the way from Africa to our shores. Plus, a bit of mud pie-making is fun for the weekend.”

Putting out dishes of fresh water will also provide drinking and bathing for a variety of birds. House martins – which require the most mud for nestbuilding – can mix water with soil themselves, which they then combine with things such as grass, feathers and vegetable fibres to make little cup nests under the eaves of houses. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/05/mud-water-to-help-nesting-migrating-birds-during-uk-heatwave-rspb-aoe

 Counting on …day 173

5th May 2022

Access to green and blue spaces is important for our own physical and  mental health as well as being good biodiversity. The Green Space Index by Fields in Trust found that more than 2.5 million people lived more than a 10-minute walk from the nearest area. The Office for National Statistics reports that one in eight households (12%) does not have access to a private or shared garden. 

Campaigners are calling on the Government to do more to ensure everyone has access to green spaces.  https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/97830/petition/1

Counting on …. Day 172

4th May 2022

If you are still looking for ways to reduce your gas consumption in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and  use gas to heat your hot water, there are several ways you do this. 

  • If you wash up in a bowl,  rather than drawing hot water that’s been heated by the boiler, use a kettle. One kettle is usually enough.
  • Reduce the number of showers you take – begin by showering one day and have a basin wash the next. Skin doesn’t get as dirty as we think. 
  • When you shower reduce the time under the shower – 5 minutes is a good target.
  • Wash your hands with cold water – it is just as effective at removing germs. What is important is lathering the soap and rubbing all parts of your hands. 

Counting on ….day 171

2nd May 2022

No Mow May!

This month we are encouraged not to mow our lawns. And here’s why:

On a single day in summer, one acre of wildflower meadow can contain 3 million flowers and produce 1 kg of nectar sugar for pollinators. But since the 1930s, we have lost nearly 7.5 million acres of flower-rich meadows and pastures. Just 1% of our countryside now provides this floral feast for pollinators. Against this loss, habitats such as lawns have become increasingly important. With 15 million gardens in Britain, our lawns have the potential to become major sources of nectar. 

Sign up and find out how many pollinators your lawn can support: https://nomowmay.plantlife.org.uk/sign-up/

Counting on …day 170

1st May 2022

Never give up hope! For weeks now I have been convinced that our grape vine has died. Its two  main branches have shown no signs of life – rather the bark has been peeling away – and the stubs where last years shoots were pruned are dry and hollow. But then, I glimpsed a couple of small pale green shoots – it is alive and we can look forward to another year of leafy sunshade and luscious fruits in due season. Signs of hope are to be treasured and praised. Thanks be to God!