Wednesday, 3 March 2010

2010. International Year of Biodiversity.

The continuing loss of species on our planet has led the United Nations to declare that 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.

Such important recognition, that human activities are causing irreparable damage to our ecological infrastructure, should lead to legally binding treaties to curb the loss of our complex natural diversity.

Warwickshire County Council have drawn up Species and Habitat Action Plans, and have plenty of suggestions for ways that people and organisations can get involved.

The Natural History Museum are heading a campaign called ‘Do One Thing’, encouraging individual action to stem the loss of our diverse ecosystem.

Ryton Country Park are putting on some great activities for adults/parents and kids as part of their ‘Build a Wildlife Garden Series’.

I have canvased my friends on how to encourage biodiversity in our gardens:

"You can start by thinking about plants to encourage insects and birds. For example, butterflies love buddleia; autumn berries are good for birds etc ..." Tricia Belvedere.

"Put out bird feeders and get composting." Myk Reilly.

"Insects love nettles.

You can leave out piles of logs for beetles." Deborah Lynam.

"Stuff an old sock with pet hair, cut holes in it and hang from a tree or washing line. Birds will use it as nesting material.

Tie bamboo canes together and saw cross ways to form mini beehives. Bees are great for gardens.

Hang a bell from your cats' collar, an estimated 40,000 song birds get taken by cats each year.

Make fat balls for birds out of lard, bird seed and any fat you cut off your meat ... this is good for your waistline too!" Claire Francis.

"Seeding an unused area of garden with a wild flower meadow will encourage a wide range of critters.

Make nesting boxes for ladybirds. They eat aphids so they are a bonus in the garden." Caroline Lukehurst.

"A pot of nettles growing is a perfect breeding ground for butterflies.

Ladybirds love box and privet and they eat will eat greenfly.

Bees love borrage and any other white or blue multi petal flowers.

Leave a stack of logs for hedgehogs.

Plant loads of succulent beautiful hostas and watch the slugs greedily destroy them!

A pond, or sunken sink, is a home for toads, frogs, dragon and may flies, water skaters and newts." Em Thor.

Thanks for all these great suggestions. If you have any more ideas please leave a comment. As with most things in life, the simpler the better.