Seaford Gardens, Balconies and Back Yards

Change of land use and farming practices account for much of the loss of biodiversity. Agriculture has become largely a monoculture, the soils are depleted and food is grown with fertilisers and pesticides that impoverish the range and abundance of plants and animals.

We now know how important our own outdoor spaces are in attracting insects, birds and other animals. Gardens can offer a rich variety of resources, such as different microclimates, plant species, and vegetation structures. They can also provide habitats, such as ponds and hedgerows that may be increasingly rare elsewhere.

Increasingly gardening programmes encourage us to think about wildlife when we design our gardens. Even if we don’t have a garden, we can grow plants in a window box or in pots that will attract the bees and other insects. We can allow the wild into our gardens by not mowing all our lawn and letting wild flowers grow instead. If we have a choice, we can ensure that surfaces, such as paths, are not hard, but let rain water through and plants such as low lying camomile and thyme to grow. We can leave seed heads through the winter for the birds and piles of leaves, woody cuttings and logs for insects and hedgehogs to overwinter. We can plant native trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Bee on a flower.

Insects

Insects are vital and without them other wildlife and the human species would die. Alarmingly records show that so many have disappeared over recent years. Apart from providing a food source for many animals and birds, they are pollinators for the plants that feed us. You can grow plants that have open flowers and are bee friendly. You can also create insect homes by providing bundles of hollow stems and log piles.

These are some other things you can do about this ‘insect apocalypse’:

Goldcrest.

Birds

The countryside no longer provides the abundance of nesting places and food sources for birds. We can replace some of this loss by putting out bird food and water, being mindful that birds also like shelter. Site the feeding station where they can retreat to a shrub or away from cats.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust provides more details on how you can help birds survive:

Seaford Community Garden.

Seaford Community Garden group

If you don’t have your own space or want to garden with other people, join the Seaford Community Garden group in the Crouch.

There’s always a warm welcome for volunteers and plenty of time to discuss gardening and swap ideas.

www.seaford-sussex.co.uk/scg/vol.htm

Greenhavens Network

Greenhavens Network

Greenhavens Network encourages groups and individuals to send in stories about their gardens. There are some really interesting articles describing local initiatives on their website:

https://greenhavens.network/blog/garden

The Blue Campaign supports people rewilding their garden. Watch this video to find out more:

 

You can find out more about increasing biodiversity in your garden on these web sites:

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