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Further ideas


The Garden Jungle, or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson


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Halesworth residents are looking forward to the results of the re-wilding surveys currently being undertaken by the Town Council. This summer saw reduced mowing of verges around the town allowing wildflowers to grow. Cutting out the use of pesticides is also under consideration.
Meanwhile, if you have access to a garden or outdoor space, you can have a direct impact on local wildlife and if we all join in, that will add up to a sizeable benefit to the insects, birds, mammals and soil health to aid fruit and vegetable crops and the wider environment.

Make a wildlife pond
Adding water to your garden with a pond, small container pond, or a shallow dish of water containing pebbles and gravel allows insects and birds to drink. Make a shallow beach so creatures can access the water and plant with native plants. Keep bird baths clean and topped up. Have a wild area where caterpillars can feed. These produce beautiful butterflies - which provides food for birds. Nasturtiums, nettles, hops, willows, blackthorn, hawthorn, sweet bedstraw, oak trees, comfrey, birdsfoot trefoil, lime trees, grasses, holly and ivy are valuable food sources for our native butterflies.

Let hedges grow thicker and wilder
Trees, shrubs and hedges are vital places for birds to nest and roost and natural sources of insect food. Plant a hedge of native trees such as hawthorn, hazel, oak and beech. Insect friendly planting Grow flowers to produce nectar and pollen for bees and all pollinating insects. These can be in pots by the front door, window boxes, hanging baskets, as well as replacing bedding plants in the garden.

Good examples are
Open daisy-like dahlias and helenium.
Purple flowers are particularly attractive to bees, such as lavender, alliums, buddleia, catmint, borage and thyme.
Flat plate-like flowers that insects can land on such as angelica, achillea and wild carrot.
Tubular flowers for long tongued bees; foxgloves and aquilegia.
Night scented plants such as honeysuckle for moths.
Marjoram is a favourite for all insects.
Aim for a variety of plants in leaf, flower or fruit all year round.

Share seeds and plants with friends and neighbours.
Garden centres often use pesticides, even on pollinator-friendly plants, and grow in peat composts which harm the environment. Buy from a nursery which uses peat-free alternatives.

Avoid pesticides and allow the natural cycle of life.
Pesticides kill all insects, not just the pest, so let nature in. Ladybirds eat aphids; parasitic wasps kill caterpillars, sawflies, ants and aphids; ground beetles love slugs and snails, and beer traps or sharp sand around plants deters slugs.
If you use spot-on treatments on dogs, keep them out of rivers and ponds for 2 days after application as the treatments kill insects living and feeding near water, such as mayflies, and the chemicals damage fish and bird health.

Let the grass grow.
Consider mowing just a strip around the margin of lawns, and letting areas grow to provide shelter and important food.

Create insect safe spaces
A simple bee hotel from a bundle of hollow bamboo canes tied together and attached to a warm wall, or tied in fruit trees for pest-controlling earwigs. Add a log pile, bundles of old hollow plant stems and seed heads to provide shelter in bad weather and hibernation habitat in your wild area.

Wildlife Highways 
Think about how creatures move around your garden. Do they have places to breed, rest and feed? Avoid too many hard surfaces. Get together with neighbours and link up your habitats by leaving gaps under fences and allowing hedges and trees to spread across boundaries.

Go Peat-free 
Over 94%of the UK’s lowland peat bogs have been destroyed or damaged and a wealth of wildlife has disappeared with them. It takes thousands of years for peat to form. Buy peat-free compost, and plants in peat-free compost too. There are good alternatives now available.

Make your own compost.
Open compost bins are wonderful homes for wildlife. A plastic compost bin is fine in a small garden Finally – the good news is that gardening is good for your physical health, your mental wellbeing, and can be great for the environment as well.

Finally – the good news is that gardening is good for your physical health, your mental wellbeing, and can be great for the environment as well.