Rewilding has become a much used buzzword over the last couple of years. You might have heard that rewilding is ‘just leaving land to go wild’. But that’s not actually the case though – a garden wouldn’t be a great habitat if it’s just left to become an unusable mess of brambles. Rewilding can be more thought of as things you can do to revert a space back to more of its natural state with native plants, not using chemicals and encouraging animal habitats. So how can we transform our gardens and small spaces to make them more wild? Here are some useful tips to get started with!
1, Buy native plants and trees that you see in local nature reserves. Native plants will always thrive in their natural soil types and environments. The native wildlife will also be better adapted to these plants and trees as well.
2, Put in a pond. Ponds and water features can be a haven for aquatic life including frogs and toads and insects. They will also encourage birds to come down for a drink. Remember to not use any chemical additives in the water and consider installing a bio filter to make sure the water is safe for wildlife.
3, Create a gap in your garden fence/wall to allow animals through. Wildlife doesn’t recognise our artificial borders and boundaries so consider having a word with your neighbours to see if you can make small gaps in fences to let wildlife through. When considering garden boundaries, remember that hedges are much more wildlife friendly than fences, especially the type with rigid gravel boards that prevent creatures moving from one garden to another.
4, Stop using weedkillers and fertilisers. We all seem to loath weeds in this country and can’t wait to run out to our garden bottle of weed killer in hand to get rid of those pesky weeds! However, the chemicals in weed killers are very toxic and can get washed back into the soil. They can also kill more than just the weeds such as microbes, fungi and insects.
5, Leave fallen branches and dead leaves to rot down in the garden. Have you ever scraped away the layer of branches, leaves, and moss that usually cover a forest floor? You will most likely uncover dark, rich earth with lots of life creeping around. Leaving piles of wood and leaves to rot in your outdoor space is the best thing you can do for a multitude of reasons: they offer habitat for little mammals, birds, invertebrates, fungi, and moss. They protect the soil from drying out by being exposed to direct sunlight and therefore help to retain water. When rotting, they provide organic matter and therefore a sustainable source of carbon compost.
By following these simple first steps you can begin your journey into rewilding your outside space and encourage the natural wildlife in your area. We all need to do our bit for the environment and what better way to start then in your own back garden!
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