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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Truth About Wildlife Sheffield

I just picked up a little book in a charity shop the other day because it mentioned wildlife gardening and I wanted some wholesome retail therapy.

I didn't expect much, I thought it would be very light and fanciful. But it turned out it was a fab piece of popular science writing, about a study done in Sheffield on the wildlife in ordinary gardens. It's charmingly written but I especially like it because it's based on scientific research and it declares the limitations of its own statistics.

In summary it says that they found out that using 'native' plants in Britain has no effect on the amount of wildlife. Including nettles - which have a mythological status when it comes to wildlife gardening but apparently this is bunkum.

Native is a very slippery concept anyway. But there are some things which make a huge difference, consistently in different locations.

In summary, these are the top ways to maximise your garden biodiversity:

1. Grow trees (or at least shrubs, if you can)

2. Have a compost heap

3. Have a pond (this can actually just be a window box or tub with water in it)

4. Don't use pesticides

5. Leave dead wood and leaves, etc, on the ground

6. Let the grass grow long (so butterflies can lay their eggs)

These are the ways to boost the biodiversity to the max in your garden.

I recommend buying the book if you would like to find out more details on improving your garden's biodiversity, either from Amazon or the reused books shop

Ah! You might ask...but why should I increase biodiversity?

Well I will expound upon that topic in a later will just have to sign up for emails if you want to find out some reasons....or visit the NHM website about biodiversity. (Did you know 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity?)

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