Monday, 25 June 2012

Do we need to make plans for Mother Nature?

It's been a busy couple of weeks at Q Lawns; We were at the Natural Environment Conference in London on 12th June and then at the BALI Landscape show last week and we're in the last stages of arranging our Gardening for Wildlife workshop on 12th July.

Q Lawns' stand at the BALI Landscape show
featuring a green roof and a wild flower meadow
The Natural Environment Conference and the BALI show were aimed at very different groups of people, in the first instance were the policy makers and at the second show were the implimentors and educators but there did seem to be common themes running through both events.  1) that there is a desperate need to reinstate wildlife habitat 2) lots of people are keen to do so and 3) more happens when there is funding from government and/or charities

I enjoyed both shows - a lot.  I learned loads both from Landscape Contractors and Garden Designers who are changing their attitudes towards biodiversity and from scholars and environmental campaigners who have scientific evidence to prove the value of nature and who use buzzwords such as "Nature Improvement Areas", "Biodiversity Offsetting", "Ecological Restoration Zones" and "Net Biodiversity Gain".

A green roof can be of huge benefit to insects and birds
but needn't mean hard work for humans
 What I would love to see though, is people being compelled to each do a little bit to help increase the number and the diversity of plants in their own environment.  Maybe install a green roof, have a pot of colourful, nectar rich flowers on the doorstep.  Replace boundary fences with native hedges, have a strip of Meadowmat at the bottom of the garden or along one edge of the lawn.  No-one needs to dramatically change their lifestyle (unless of they want to), they just need to think nature when they're looking at the outside of their properties.

Do we need to make plans for Mother Nature?....sadly, I think we do.  At least for the time-being, while human-kind is re-learning what it is that will make the world go round in the long term.  Should government pay?  Well, environment and ecology are as closely linked to wellbeing as prosperity and justice are, so I guess the government should be paying to show us a better way.  My biggest fear is that government funding will be withdrawn and all of the wonderful research and work that has been done so far will be undone in a trice.

Rant over.  I'm going to make my sandwiches ready for a trip to Graveley in Hertfordshire tomorrow where one intrepid garden designer has persuaded her parish council to install a small area of wild flower matting near the village hall.....voluntarily and without government funding.
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