The ‘diversity of all life on Earth’ including animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms. It includes the complex relationships between all of these and their habitats and surroundings. We are all interconnected and rely on biodiversity for our health, our food, and the air we breathe.
We have a responsibility to protect other living organisms from our actions and protecting local biodiversity and wildlife everywhere is essential to fighting climate change and preventing irreversible damage. There are many species that are declining both locally and worldwide. For example, bees are in decline and are essential to the growth of crops that feed the world.
Inspired by Charles Darwin, The Friends Forum of Bromley Parks and Green Spaces have some great tips for getting started with biodiversity. Plus you don’t have to be an expert to get started. Just the willingness to give some time goes an incredibly long way.
Horticultural societies and Friends of groups
A simple and big thing you can do is join a group who are already doing this kind of work. You won’t need to be an expert to join your local horticultural society or “Friends of” group. They look for people who are willing and able to volunteer and there’s plenty you can learn as you go along.
If you’re based in the borough of Bromley, search for your local group here.
In the garden
There are many benefits to growing your own food and composting food waste. These include physical and mental health benefits, reduced garden and food waste, improved soil health, saving money and reducing food miles. If you’d like more RHS tips on growing your own and composting, have a look at local groups. Allotment holders are great for tips and advice!
Disposing of garden waste responsibly is also important for biodiversity. Find out about green waste in our recycling section here.
Rethink the layout of lawns and flowerbeds. Adding a log pile is great for minibeasts. Consider re-wilding part of your garden and adding “nature corridors” for hedgehogs.
All creatures great and small
Looking after bees and pollinators is a great way of helping biodiversity to thrive. Read our tips on what to plant for bees.
Reporting sightings of endangered species is also helpful. For example, if you spot a stag beetle you can log it with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
We are one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Tree planting is essential for supporting local wildlife. There is research that shows streets lined with trees are more desirable and command more money for property too.
Tree planting also:
- reduces risks of flooding on a street,
- decreases street (and home) temperatures in summer,
- provides shelter and so helps keep homes warmer in winter – this eases strain on the NHS too,
- helps with local air quality as they’re essential in absorbing and storing Carbon Dioxide and producing Oxygen,
- and boosts the mental health of those seeing them.
Trees for Cities has a great article with 10 reasons trees are so great.
Council teams are often careful about planting tree species that will not affect the pipes or light of neighbouring properties or drop sap.
Three ways to help trees
- Newly planted and young trees need regular watering to keep them established – even in the winter months. Watch our video about the best way to do this.
- You can report any dead trees on Fix My Street, by entering in the postcode the tree is at ideally including a photo and highlighting that it is dead.
- Plus, you can email your local Councillors using the Write to them website to highlight dead trees or those not being watered.
Our grass verges are of huge benefit to wildflowers, pollinators, and other nature – especially when we reduce mowing. You can make a difference by:
- Write to your local councillors and highlight verges that you would like to see mown less often. Although you’ll need to have an awareness of, and consider, any lines of sight that might be affected.
- Bromley Council has a two-year pilot for nature-friendly verges. You can give feedback on the scheme and suggest more verges to be included here. Greener and Cleaner are working with other groups to highlight specific areas where the relevant council could implement this too.
- You can also spread the word about the benefits of grass verges and help dispel some of the myths about them looking messy and unkempt. There are some great ways to ensure the longer verges look intentional. The PlantLife website is a wealth of information and has some great resources from pdf guides to webinars and searchable maps.
A useful organisation with plenty of tips advice and knowledge on their website. Plus you can search for your local “Friends of” group.
A charity working with everyone to transform the way we eat, farm and care for our natural world. Their support us section and blog contain a wealth of information for nature friendly gardening and free resources.
The Angling Trust is a not-for-profit organisation, representing anglers, fighting for fish, fishing and the environment.
Government department responsible for improving and protecting the environment
They look after the places, from houses, buildings and gardens, to coast and countryside.
An umbrella organisation for 65 member Rivers Trusts in the UK and Ireland. They are river and catchment conservation experts.
The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home and secure a healthy environment for wildlife.
Largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, bringing together 66 organisations to use their strong joint voice for the protection of nature.
Their members campaign to conserve, enhance and access landscapes, animals, plants, habitats, rivers and seas. They directly protect over 750,000 hectares of land and 800 miles of coastline.
UK’s Largest Woodland Conservation Charity. They aim for a UK rich in native woods and trees, for both wildlife and people. They plant trees, protect woods and inspire people.