Green-fingered Warwickshire charity urges gardeners to help address ‘dangerous’ wildlife decline - The Rugby Observer

Green-fingered Warwickshire charity urges gardeners to help address ‘dangerous’ wildlife decline

Rugby Editorial 6th Apr, 2024   0

A GREEN-FINGERED charity in Warwickshire is urging gardeners to act now to halt the ‘dangerous’ drop in wildlife across the country.

A new research paper from Ryton-based Garden Organic and the Henry Doubleday Research Association shows urban gardens can play a major role in restoring lost wildlife such as birds and insects.

The study, Every Garden Matters, says small steps in backyards, balconies and allotments – such as planting a wider diversity of plants, improving soil health and creating habitats – can have a major impact on wildlife numbers.

The research organisation and charity says gardeners can help stop and reverse a trend which has seen a 13 per cent decline in overall wildlife numbers in the UK since the 1970s.

Dr Bruce Pearce, director of horticultural science at Garden Organic.

The author of the report – Dr Bruce Pearce, the director of horticultural science at Garden Organic, says wildlife could benefit substantially if all gardens in the country were managed sustainably and organically.

He said: “Worldwide, there has been a 69 per cent average decline in wildlife populations since the 1970s, and within the UK a 41 per cent decrease in species abundance – resulting in 15 per cent of our species being threatened.

“It’s against this bleak background that we wanted to learn more about the role gardens and gardeners can play in mitigating this disaster.

“The good news is there’s lots we can do. Our research paper shows how small steps by individuals and communities can mitigate some of the worst problems.”

Garden Organic chief executive Fiona Taylor added: “It can be easy to overlook the vast potential of gardens, allotments and community growing spaces, but every garden matters. They mattered 65 years ago, when our founder Lawrence Hills germinated the seed of the Henry Doubleday Research Association – and they matter today.

“The part all of us can play in tackling the biodiversity crisis begins in our own backyard, be that our garden or one we’re linked to in our community.

“This paper evidences the collective power of organic growing methods – putting gardeners at the heart of positive environmental action to the benefit of society at large.”

The charity’s study outlines how to grow to boost biodiversity in gardens – covering plant and vegetable diversity, soil health and habitats.

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