Let it grow

Let it grow - encourage biodiversity

If just looking at a picture of nature lifts our spirits1, imagine the benefits we’ll feel if you let nature thrive on window sills, gardens and green spaces.

Since 1970 there has been a whopping 60% decline in animal species globally12 and in the UK 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s2. Thankfully, there’s power on your patch to help fix the issue.

Encouraging nature helps keep our ecosystems in balance and the best bit? You don’t have to lift a finger, just let it grow.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Climate Change

Let’s face it, plants are easy on the eye. And that style comes with climate-protecting substance. Plants have removed 25% of human-made carbon emissions globally3, providing cleaner air for us to breathe.

If that wasn’t enough, wild and organically grown plants help keep soils healthy. Healthy soils store carbon, even more than trees in some habitats4 and grassland soils where wildflowers flourish can sequester as much carbon as woodland.

Health

Nature plays a vital role in our wellbeing5; without it we’d be sadder and sicker.

Getting friendly with biodiverse nature is good for you; observing nature for just 40 seconds improves concentration and productivity6.

Contact with diverse microbiomes in the soil and air combat anxiety and depression7 and can even improve your gut health8. Smelling wildflowers, hearing bees buzzing and birds chirruping lowers stress9.

One hospital study even found that patients who looked out onto nature healed faster than those who didn’t10. Pass the nature pills!

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the key to healthy ecosystems, and healthy ecosystems provide us with the soils, nutrients, pollinators (75% of the world’s crops are pollinated by insects11), food and water that we need to survive.

Imagine our ecosystem is a Jenga tower. The full tower is a thriving ecosystem; strong, perfectly balanced, resilient. Each block that is removed represents a loss in biodiversity or decline in species. We've been taking blocks away for a while without fully appreciating the impact. Now we're at the tipping point; that turn when you know, if you take out a block, the tower will go.

Whilst this is Jenga no go, we can put blocks back and rebuild our ecosystem tower. And, look!

Rewild a bit of your outdoors to increase biodiversity and attract more wildlife; even a lawn can be a rich ecosystem, home to beetles and other insects.

How

Whether you’re green fingered or have the power to kill a plant just by looking at it, we’ve got you covered:

  1. Let it grow & sow don’t mow - put your feet up and let it grow; you’ll be surprised at what might spring up; daisies, clover, even wild orchids! Join No Mow May for inspiration or add more wildflower seeds to your lawn. Find lots of tips on plant species in this article.

  2. Fill a bare patch - wildflowers love bare earth that other plants won't thrive in. Find out how to grow a wild patch with help from the Wildlife Trust. Also, leave borders round trees and plant native daffodils, bluebells and crocuses; insects love them.

  3. Don’t dig for victory - leaving soil undisturbed keeps the carbon locked in, so only dig your green space if you really have to.

  4. Be a ledge - no garden? Your window sill or balcony can house a pot or two, you can grow bug-friendly plants. Any pot will do as long as you can make a hole or two in the bottom for drainage. Make sure the pots are secure!

  5. Build a bug mansion - Your garden may contain more than 2000 species of insects, who work hard to keep your green space in balance. Build them the bug mansion they deserve.

  6. Feed the birds - birds play a vital role in cleaning up our gardens and keeping out pests. Could your garden be home to a bird cafe or even a nesting box? Encouraging insects and worms also attract birds like blackbirds that feed on the invertebrates below.

  7. Go peat free - our peatlands are incredible carbon storers, but we have been destroying them to feed our plant. Go peat free and help protect our peatlands.

  8. Go Pesticide free - pesticides are harmful for all wildlife. Get help to grow plants organically.

  9. Hedgehog highways - hedgehogs aren’t just cute they feast on the slugs and snails that eat your veggies - so build hedgehog highways in your garden.