Building a Bug Hotel; Wildlife Gardening

Bored during the COVID-19 lockdown? Why not try your hand at building a Bug Hotel for your garden. If you don’t have any tools present – no matter! You can build one with no equipment and using just a few old bricks. Some good fillers for your hotel include: moss, pinecones, twigs, bamboo and dried leaf matter. Go on … You’ll certainly produce some micro smiles!

Wednesday Quote.. Daily Nature Fix

“All my life I have found reassurance in the countryside; have found sorrows and anxieties benefiting from a walk through a meadow. Something to take my mind off its particular worry, as refreshing and restoring as a cool drink on a hot day.” ~C.R.Milne

The Perfect ‘Hyde’ Away…

#LondonWildlifeChallenge

Picture this; You’ve finished work at the office. You’re tired. You’re in London and you need fresh air and a jolly good ‘earthing’. By which I mean ground yourself back to nature…. Nothing cheeky…. Naughty.

Well I may have your solution here; Hyde Park I truly believe is not hyped about enough. This is an utterly gorgeous spot, splat bang in the centre of London and a space where wildlife flocks to!

Within half an hour I had spotted Canada geese, Shag (cheeky..), Moorhen and Coot in the bird department (otherwise known as the lake). But the real head turner for me was seeing hundreds (maybe thousands, but you know… Didn’t stop to count!) of honey bees (Apis) busy buzzing around the lambs ear plant (Stachys byzantina) IN CENTRAL LONDON! I was so excited I had to sit down with a cup of tea…

The Royal Parks certainly look after this space and the wildlife appears to be extremely well catered for – which I just love and is so important with a third of all species currently in critical decline.

The walled garden is particularly lovely too, if scented flowers float your boat.

So go and check it out for yourself, if you haven’t already. I’m now beginning to see why London is this month becoming the first ever National Park City.

There we go! A positive post. B.E.A.Utiful.

Protection, protection, protection – or will the quality of our lives disappear before us?

I consider myself to be a relatively positive person however, lately all I can think about is how our current actions are seriously detrimental to the worlds natural places. How awful that is. I am certain that if you were to do a poll on how much we value and enjoy our natural spaces, wherever you are in the world, that a majority of us would agree they need protection. Wild places are proven to be incredibly beneficial to both our mental and physical health! So why do we pretermit when it comes to joining hands and efforts and looking after these marvelous habitats? I say habitats because one MUST NOT forget the importance of these spaces to the rest of the worlds inhabitants such as the wildlife that thrives in them.  I believe it is crucial at this point in the post to point out the incredible efforts of organisations and individuals who already work tirelessly to protect these habitats. Their work is invaluable. A joined up approach i.e. a collaboration of efforts is going to have to be the way forward in the future, in order to make change.

Air pollution, litter, oil, building, plastic. These are just a few examples of how we are causing harm to the environment. Building I am aware is a risky subject to bring up. Although I am currently living in London, my home is rural Devon, being born and raised there. Over the years I have suffered in seeing the natural spaces I hold so dear to me being unruly destroyed. Housing estates popping up next to the beautifully wild habitats that sit opposite rivers. I do not mean this in any elitist way, for I understand that many people are still suffering without homes and more AFFORDABLE homes are needed. But the homes I see being built everyday in the area I was so privileged to grow up in are by no normal citizen’s means, affordable. Most starting upwards of £350,000. I am also very much aware that Devon is considered a highly desirable place to live, but let me tell you that if all these areas are to be developed as quickly as they currently are being, Devon will not be a desirable place to live. I use Devon as an example, yet I am aware this is happening all over England.

We need/have to act now to make a difference. Species richness across all corners of the UK is in critical decline – 44 million birds have disappeared from the UK countryside since 1966!! Staggering. Frightening.

So what can we individually do to help?

  • Build ponds, whether it be a washing up bowl on the patio with rocks in (so the wildlife doesn’t drown), or a big sunken pond in a space you have available. Ponds are possible with or without a garden and are hugely beneficial to numerous species.
  • Encourage your local council to stop mowing the wild flower verges and cutting down trees in towns.
  • Encourage children to get involved – we need the next generation to put the environment first. Gardening and bug hunts are a great way to get kids involved with nature.
  • Build a hedgehog home or bird box!
  • Get involved with, or organise your own beach cleans, woodland cleans and clear-ups.
  • Campaign! The Wildlife Trusts currently have a #WIlderFuture campaign – link: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wilder-future

If we all work together, we have a chance. So let’s get on with it.

Video I recommend watching (have some tissues present…):

 

Thames Site Visits

Cool morning out and about on the Thames Estuary doing some site visits for the Thames Monitoring Project. I likey like.

I also learned today that you can get married on The London Eye! You say your wedding vows whilst going up, kiss at the top and then it’s all down hill from there…..ttp

Time to Clear up Our Act…

As well as being unsightly, litter is a serious social, economic and environmental problem. It causes harm to communities and wildlife, and in an era where local authorities’ budgets are coming under increasing pressure, costs over £1billion each year to clear up. Yet it is entirely preventable. By us.

“In the past few decades we have become a society that consumes on the go, with all the packaging that goes along with it. If you buy something – be it a packet of crisps or a bottle of water – you buy the packaging as well and it is your responsibility to dispose of that packaging appropriately by recycling it or putting it in the bin. And, if we’re not near a bin we need to keep that rubbish with us until we are. To do otherwise is not only against the law but it is also damaging to our environment.” – CEO of Keep Britain Tidy (Allison Ogden-Newton)

Person Holding Plastic Bottles and Hose#

For any Londoners reading this; The Port of London Authority (PLA) have a system whereby when you collect litter during a foreshore/river clean, you can report your findings through their website and contribute to a valuable database, enabling crucial research.

Link to PLA website: https://server1.pla.co.uk/Environment/Reporting-your-Thames-litter-clean-up

 

 

A Mountain of a Problem…

“A child born today will see an Everest largely free of glaciers within their lifetime.”

Would this be the case if global warming wasn’t ‘a thing’? Absolutely not.

Is this ok? Absolutely not.

Will it make a difference? Absolutely, yes.

Thousands of organisms rely on glaciers as their ecosystem. No glaciers equals a huge loss in some very important organisms, both micro and macroscopic.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but I just cannot understand for the life of me why this is not at the forefront of news. Too frustrating for words really…. So I’ll just write a whole paragraph on it…

Glaciers reveal clues about global warming. For example, how much does our atmosphere naturally warm up between Ice Ages? And how does human activity affect the climate? Glaciers are incredibly sensitive to temperature fluctuations following climate change and direct glacier observation may help answer these questions. Since the early twentieth century, with few exceptions, glaciers around the world have been shrinking at unprecedented rates. Many scientists believe this massive glacial retreat relates back to the Industrial Revolution, which began around 1760. The hideous fact is that several ice caps, glaciers and ice shelves have disappeared altogether in this century, with many retreating so rapidly that they may vanish within just a matter of decades…

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