#ImveloGardenProject – Rewilding in Practice

24 September, 2018

Feeling inspired by Chris Packham’s ‘A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife‘ & Climate Action North East’s ‘Rewilding in Practice’ conference (18.09.18)… so I thought I’d share my small-scale example of #rewildinginpractice through the #imvelogardenproject…

Rewilding is the restoration of ecosystems where nature can take care of itself. It encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature where each can thrive.

Recognising and supporting biodiversity helps the development of local economies, allows people to re-connect with wild nature, and will make our country a better place to be.

We know that rewilding provides hope for the future and if we can learn from others and agree actions, we can map out a plan for better times.

My (tiny!) garden was a new build five years ago and is now my absolute pride and joy! I have been working on it solely for the purpose of providing a home for nature, with a particular focus on bees, butterflies and small mammals!

Nature knows best when it comes to survival and self-governance. When nature is healthy, we are healthier too. After all, we rely on the natural world for air, food and water.

There is a growing realisation that connecting with wild nature makes us feel good and keeps us mentally and physically well.

For those that know me well, you’ll know that I also have a particular soft spot for Hedgehogs and I, along with more than 47,000 people, have signed up to the PTES and BHPS campaign Hedgehog Street and pledged to make our gardens more hedgehog friendly. I am privileged to have resident Hedgehogs, & regular visitors, including a momma & 3 hoglets this year!

Counting the nocturnal animals is difficult but the data that exists shows the hedgehog is in long-term decline. There are perhaps just a million left, representing a 97% fall from the 30m estimated to have roamed in the 1950s.

The most important action is to ensure there are small holes in fences, no larger than a CD, to join up gardens and give hedgehogs the space to roam. A single hedgehog travels 1-2km a night in search of food and usually ranges over an area of 10 hectares (24.7 acres).

The number of hedgehogs living in the British countryside has plummeted by more than half since 2000, according to a new report.

The popular but prickly character topped a vote in 2013 to nominate a national species for Britain, but it has suffered as hedgerows are lost and the invertebrates it feasts on diminish. However, the survey offers a glimmer of hope as losses in towns and cities appear to have slowed and the numbers patrolling nighttime gardens may be increasing.

Hugh Warwick, at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, said the research showed the value of back gardens as a refuge: “This fascinating piece of research reminds us of how vital a habitat our back gardens can be and one we can easily improve with a few small actions. The most important is to ensure that hedgehogs can get into your garden, and a small hole – 13cm – will do.”

My new mission for Summer 2018 was to install a small pond and water feature to support amphibians, invertebrates and especially dragonflies!


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