Gardening with wildlife in
mind - English Nature's CD
For those of you who feel strongly about
gardening alongside nature, you will be interested in a CD that English Nature
have produced for gardeners. This page gives further details. The following
description is from the Cumbria newsletter of
English Nature and the foreword by Chris Baines, whose
wildlife gardens have been prominent exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show since
Gardening with wildlife
in mind - CD Rom by Steve Berry of English
Gardens play an important role in keeping
people in touch with wildlife. They also now contribute significantly to the
conservation of some species. The common frog has benefited from the
construction of thousands of garden ponds, as have dragonflies and other
aquatic invertebrates. Birds have a better chance of surviving cold weather
thanks to food provided for them by householders.
Most gardeners enjoy
seeing wildlife on their plot but may not know how to attract it, other than by
hanging up a peanut bag. They don't want to turn their garden into a
wilderness, but want the best of both worlds: garden-worthy plants which are
also attractive to wildlife.
It's for just this audience that English
Nature has produced the Gardening with wildlife in mind CD, published by
the Plant Press. The CD has information on - and stunning photographs of - some
800 species of plants and "creatures" - from bumble bees to birds and
butterflies. What plant seeds are goldfinches most likely to eat? Click on
goldfinch to find out. How can you increase your chances of getting the orange
tip butterfly or the spectacular privet hawkmoth in your garden?
will tell you. It explores the complex relationships between predators and
prey: what eats what. It also has information on plants providing the best
sheltering and nesting areas for birds as well as what to avoid in order to
maximise the wildlife potential of your garden.
The Foreword is by
writer and broadcaster Chris Baines and the introduction by Sir Martin Doughty,
Chair of English Nature.
There are thought to be 15,000,000 gardens in
Britain. If many more people gardened with wildlife in mind, they could make a
personal and a really significant contribution to nature conservation - and
have the bonus of a more interesting and stimulating garden.
The CD is planned to be available around
Christmas 2003 direct from The Plant Press, 10 Market Street, Lewes, BN7 2NB,
01273 476151, firstname.lastname@example.org or from major computer software retailers and
garden centres, price £9.99 (plus £1.50 post and packing if ordered
from the Plant Press).
to English Nature Gardening with Wildlife in Mind CD Rom Chris Baines
It's important for all of us to find ways of
gardening with nature, whether we have a tiny town garden or a rolling rural
estate. I have always enjoyed the wildlife on my doorstep, and it is quite
obvious from the public reaction to my books, radio and TV programmes, that
enormous numbers of people in the UK feel the same. As a horticulturist who
learned his craft in the 1960s, I spent years being taught how to kill things.
In those days, wildlife in gardens was generally seen as one of three kinds of
problem - a pest, a disease or a weed - but I soon learned that a good gardener
can turn that attitude on its head and work with nature to create a garden that
is beautiful and full of life. By choosing plants carefully, avoiding poisonous
chemicals, and tolerating a little decay, even the smallest of gardens can
become a safe haven for all manner of native plants and animals. Provide a
further boost to the garden habitat with extra food, some nesting boxes and a
dependable source of unpolluted water and even more wildlife will visit
regularly from the surrounding neighbourhood.
It has always seemed
obvious to me that wildlife in the garden brings benefits for people, and now
there is scientific evidence that close contact with nature close to home can
reduce stress and really make us feel better. Equally important is the growing
recognition that the way we garden can make an important contribution to the
wellbeing of the wildlife itself. Whilst post-war farming practices have seen
loss of habitat on a massive scale, in the towns and villages where most people
live and work, many kinds of wild plants and animals are doing rather well. The
half million hectares of domestic gardens are a major factor in the fortunes of
a whole range of species. Garden ponds have been the salvation of the common
frog, the toad and the newt. The colourful flowers in our borders, tubs and
hanging baskets boost supplies of nectar and pollen for the bees and
butterflies. Suburban hedges, worm-rich lawns, chemical-free slugs and snails
and piles of autumn leaves are all a hedgehog needs to make it happy. Where a
neighbourhood network of flowery gardens is set beneath the canopy of trees,
like glades in an urban forest, then spectacular species such as sparrowhawks,
green woodpeckers and tawny owls are thriving.
Gardening with nature is
well worthwhile for the most selfish of reasons. It brings real personal
pleasure, from the first song of the dawn chorus to the last bat of the
evening. Now, thanks to the advice offered in this CD Rom, it's possible for
all of us to see how just a little extra effort can also make a really
significant and lasting difference to the fortunes of the nation's natural
Chris Baines is the author of the best selling book How to
Make a Wildlife Garden and he built the very first wildlife garden at Chelsea
Flower Show as long ago as 1985. Chris is a national vice president of the
Wildlife Trusts, a trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and works as an
independent adviser to industry and to central and local government. He has a
small garden, full of wildlife, in inner city Wolverhampton.