Words by Jennifer Robson, Digital Content & PR Director for Climate Action North, a community interest company dedicated to taking action to tackle the climate crisis and leading the Rewilding Network in the North of England. You can check out their work here.
For years, nature hasn’t been seen as a partner but rather as something to defeat and destroy. The results are disastrous. Over half of our species are in decline, 15 percent are threatened with extinction, and all top predators have been hunted to extinction, as cited by Rewilding Britain.
Through environmental conservation and ecological restoration, rewilding is an attempt to reconnect, reset and to help nature flourish.
Rewilding has great potential to reinstate natural processes and missing species to increase biodiversity, create self-sustainable environments, and mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change.
Ultimately, it encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together – for us to live better with nature and take our place as part of nature.
It may feel daunting to consider how to rewild the world, but you can do your bit by adopting rewilding principles from your own garden, yard, balcony or even a window box. There is always a place for rewilding, no matter how big or small. Here are our tips:
Reset your idea of ‘mess’. For some a messy garden is an unloved garden but, in reality, it’s a sanctuary for wildlife. Let your grass grow longer; raising the height of your mower or leaving a small area of uncut grass willmake useful wildlife habitats and provide valuable shelter and food for insects, birds and smaller animals.Relax and allow the weeds to thrive; many of them supply wildlife with nectar, pollen, and seed heads. Moreover, those piles of fallen leaves will provide hibernation habitat and hiding places for many creatures!
Get planting. Introducing British native ‘pollinator-friendly’ wildflowers, such as Red Campion, Moth Mullein, Primrose, Oxeye Daisy, Basil, and Dandelion, will all go a long way to transforming your outdoor area into an ecological oasis to help bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, and birds thrive. Trees, hedges and shrubs are also great ways to provide valuable food, shelter and nesting sites in a wildlife friendly garden.
Create a water source. There’s no better source of life than water, whether it’s a large or small pond, water fountain or a bird bath, for insects, birds, amphibians, and small mammals.
Introduce safe hiding places for wildlife. Nesting boxes for birds, bat boxes, hedgehog houses, bug mansions, and bee hotels, are all wonderful ways to provide safe havens for wildlife.
Ditch the chemicals. This includes insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers, weedkillers, slug pellets and fertilisers. Buy or make natural alternatives to ensure the environment stays safe for you, your pets, and wildlife.
Multiply the effort. Talk to your neighbours about what you could do together and double, triple or quadruple your rewilding efforts. Consider opening up your garden boundaries to create corridors for wildlife and take shared responsibility to provide food, shelter and habitats to help preserve endangered species like hedgehogs.
And, of course, do make sure you have a seat so you can sit back and make the most of the wildlife, right on your doorstep.