Supporting our wildlife and biodiversity will have a positive impact on our carbon emissions. The good news is, that you don’t need a garden to get involved.
Just starting out?
Creating a wildlife friendly garden will help support and provide homes for the many declining species that we have in the UK. The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS set up Wild About Gardens to inspire people to use their outdoor space to support nature and invite wildlife back. Visit Suffolk Wildlife Trusts wildlife gardening webpage for tips and advice on how to wild your outdoor space, from attracting hedgehogs to bees.
You don’t need a garden to make an impact… a green ledge, nectar-rich plant pot by the door or even a window bird feeder can make a huge difference! The RSPB has shared five ways to welcome wildlife if you have a balcony or urban backyard.
In July the Dedham Vale and Coast & Heaths Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team held a free online wildlife-friendly gardening talk and Q&A. The talk was recorded and you can watch it on youtube here.
Feeling creative and want to upcycle household items into plant pots? Visit the Wildlife Trust website to find out how.
Ready for the next level?
Water butts / rainwater harvesting
A water butt is a great way to collect rainfall to use in your garden. The butts come in a variety of different sizes and shapes in to suit your garden and space available, and they can help you to save money by using less water from your taps. Visit the below websites to find out more.
Did you know that composting is the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with organic waste from your garden and kitchen? Compost is free and easy to make from garden and kitchen waste, and unlike some bought compost, it is peat-free.
The Suffolk Waste Partnership is offering Suffolk residents the chance to buy home composting bins at discounted rates and for under £10 each. For more information on home composting, and to view the special offers, visit Suffolk Recycling.
Composting and Peat free
If you are not creating your own compost, it is important to buy peat-free compost. If it doesn’t say “peat free” on the packet it will contain peat, as this is still the default for UK composts.
Peat is sourced from lowland raised bogs, an increasingly rare habitat in the UK and Europe. They act as a carbon sink, meaning they are vital in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by storing carbon.
As an example, a 100-litre bag of peat-based compost will have a footprint of around 15kg of CO2, or 66 miles of driving the average UK car.
Peat extraction for compost use and gardening in the UK is on the rise, but there are alternatives available. The RHS has listed some peat-free alternatives here, including tips on things to look out for when buying peat-free products.
Plantlife, along with the RSPB, Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth, is campaigning to keep peat in the ground. You can view more information here.