Climate change is having a serious impact on the biodiversity of the planet, and with it some of our best natural defences to adapt and tackle it, such as carbon sinks in forestry and wetlands. Destruction of eco systems by humans and rising global temperatures caused by climate change, leads to reduced numbers of organisms which are vital for a healthy balance necessary to support all life on earth including ours. So it’s important to tackle both crises together.
What is Ashford doing?
At Ashford we have a role to explore nature based solutions to build help us adapt to climate change e.g wetland flood defences, bringing nature’s cooling leaves into urban areas but also a role to support and restore our ecosystems including supporting pollinators and diverse habitats, working with partners to improve the quality of our rivers and soils. We can also help individuals by sharing good practice and information on what you can do to help protect biodiversity and protect the environment through sustainable choices.
How can you take action?
Whether you live in the countryside or in an urban area, you can still support wildlife whether you have a garden, wall or window box, helping nature’s good guys. Here are a few ideas of how to increase biodiversity.
- Grow for pollinators in your garden or window box, with varieties of plants that flower in Spring, Summer and Autumn
- If you have a garden – provide differing habitats – the more varied the garden landscape is the more favourable it will be to a wide range of species. Your garden can be sectioned off into areas with some areas of the lawn left as a wildflower meadow, shady areas planted with woodland flowers and others more structured. Plant a diverse range of plants as different insects thrive on different species.
- Don’t cut your hedges during the bird breeding season March to October
- Consider if your community can come together to set up a community garden. Get guidance on creating a community garden [pdf] 7303KB.
- Plant a varied native species hedge or even an edible hedge including fruits
- Provide sheltered places to nest and hide using old logs for insects or nesting boxes, for bats and birds
- Create a compost heap by decomposing organic waste from the home you can recycle waste and create great fertiliser at the same time.
- Boost your soil ecology by digging as little as possible. Every season add layers of semi-decomposed mulch. This will provide a protective barrier to soil and provide food for microorganisms.
- Keep your guests hydrated by providing water using a shallow dish filled with stones and water. Also, a simple bird bath with give birds somewhere to bathe. Install a water butt and start collecting rainwater and make the most of the seasonal rainfall.
- Identify existing ecology in your garden to enhance what you already have. Typically if you look for clues, nature will tell you what it wants. For instance, if one corner of your garden is extremely boggy perhaps you could create a small wetland! If there are multiple, small mammal trails perhaps you could provide some shelter.
The following links provide additional reading and guidance on biodiversity.
Ideas on attracting wildlife to your garden; expert advice from the RHS / RHS Gardening.
Read about the work Aspire has been doing to provide diverse habitats in Ashford’s parks and open spaces.