For anyone that’s watched Clarkson’s Farm recently, you may well be inspired to create a little micro-nature reserve in your own garden, especially for those avid gardeners amongst you.
So, what is “Rewilding”?
The decline in British wildlife has been widely reported over the past few years and it has been reported that Britain has seen a 41% decline in nature since the 1970’s.
Even Clarkson points out on his show that when driving through the countryside, your car windscreen would have been adorned with a variety of bugs, yet these days, there’s barely any flies or bugs that see their untimely death on our cars, due to such decline.
Rewilding aims to help support nature and reverse this ecological decline by doing away with pesticides and weed killers and encouraging native wildlife to flourish. Essentially, it’s resorting your garden back to it’s more natural state.
Many of us are proud to have a well-manicured lawn, minimalist patio or decking in which we can entertain our friends (pre and post pandemic of course), but this does little to help the garden critters and creatures.
The benefits of rewilding
Well, firstly, experiencing a little oasis of wild nature in your own garden can have positive impacts on your health and wellbeing. But letting your garden to grow naturally without much intervention will allow insects, birds and other creatures to flourish whilst creating biodiversity.
Of course, it really depends on the size of garden you have and the extent you want to rewild. From a small micro-nature reserve to letting your lawn grow out and whole areas dedicated to encouraging hedgehogs, bug hotels, bird boxes and more, there’s plenty of ways to help nature thrive.
Here’s how you can rewild your garden.
- Give the lawn a break. As we’ve already mentioned – don’t feel bad if you don’t mow the lawn for a couple of weeks. You can let a small patch of lawn grow out and encourage nectar rich plants such as clover to develop – this is a great food source for bees and other pollinators.
- Create a micro-nature reserve – bug and bee hotels are a fantastic way to provide shelter for insects. You can often get these little lodgings from garden nurseries or pick them up from Amazon or even build one yourself – here’s a link to a video we found.
- Planting for the pollinators – lavender plants are loved by bees, hoverflies and butterflies. Echinacea, Salvias and Alliums also to a great job in attracting these pollinators to our gardens.
- Hedging – consider the hawthorne which can host up to 300 insects, it’s pollen will attract the bees whilst the Autumn fruits will attract the birds.
- Ponds – ideal for frogs, pond snails and a plethora of other water creatures, but it also offers a drinking station for local birdlife too. Make sure to have a very shallow end so the likes of hedgehogs and young birds can easily get out. Avoid adding fish so that other wildlife can thrive. Alternatively, you can invite a whole menagerie with some water from a bird bath or a high up drinking station.
- Create a wildflower bed – whether you have a window box, a planter, or a large bedding patch in your garden, or happy to have a section of your grass dedicated to the “pollen café” you can sow some wildflower seeds for different times of the year and for different soil types. You can buy seed bombs online, or you can mix your own with peat-free compost, powdered clay, seeds and some water. Simply roll all the ingredients together into a ball and place in the desired spot in your garden and see what starts to bloom.
For more information, check out this video on rewilding your garden by Dave Coulson.