June 5 2021, World Environment Day was the start of The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It is the beginning of an ambitious decade calling on all nations to work collectively to reverse, prevent and halt the destruction of our planet’s ecosystem. How incredible that for the first time in human history, there is a focus on upgrading nature. We are all for this!
A major part of this goal is ‘Rewilding’, the restoration of large areas to their natural state by reducing human control and letting nature take care of itself. You can read more about rewilding principles here.
Rewilding right where you are.
When we first heard about rewilding we understood how important this was. Then we got wildly excited when we realised that we can also participate in rewilding and upgrading nature without leaving our homes because the rewilding concept also relates to suburbia!
The second thing that got us excited, was the fact that rewilding leans into the concept of doing less in our garden and letting nature take more of a role. Intrigued yet? Read on.
7 Easy Ways to Promote Rewilding In Your Own Backyard
Rewilding a garden requires a little reframing of our spaces. It begins by seeing our gardens from nature’s point of view. Perfectly weed-free flower beds and manicured lawns may look good to us, but letting nature be nature by easing back on gardening tasks is far better for the environment and invites back more wildlife, greater biodiversity and bees! Here are seven easy, almost no work, ways to start right away.
1. Ditch the chemicals.
There are so many great options for controlling pests in our gardens that do not add poisonous chemicals to the environment. Swapping out the chemicals for organic methods is one easy step to make a garden more inviting to nature.
2. Embrace the mess
This is official permission to let your grass grow a little longer, skip the weeding and let your hedges grow. When we let nature take the lead, it will naturally create spaces in our gardens that shelter and feed birds, insects and wildlife. If you are beginning to really embrace this concept, go wild and let your grass grow into a tall meadow by adding native grasses and flowers that will attract even more local wildlife.
3. Plant more flowers
Planting blooming plants is an easy way to turn your garden into an oasis for bees and other pollinators. More than 95% of our crops need pollinators such as honey bees and butterflies to grow, and we can personally do our part in increasing the populations of bees and butterflies by adding flowering species to our home gardens.
4. Let it rot
A decaying log or pile of prunings can become a home for all manner of creatures. These small piles of garden waste are better left to slowly decompose and create more food for the birds and insects that will be attracted to the moulding goodness.
5. Build homes
As your garden becomes ‘wilder’ it will become more inviting to birds, bats, bees, butterflies and more. By adding some insect hotels, bird boxes and feeding areas, you can encourage this rewilding further, and enjoy a constant variety of little visitors to the garden.
6. Add some water
If you have space in your garden, consider making a small wetland area with a pond. A natural wildlife pond will attract amphibians and other aquatic insects back into your environment.
7. Share the Rewilding
Let your neighbours know about your rewilding adventures. You may even inspire them to join you in creating a combined natural area in your neighbourhood. One great way neighbours can help is by creating small corridors for animals by cutting holes into fences to allow hedgehogs and other small animals to roam between spaces.
Fixing the planet is a collective task. But as millions of small drops fill a bucket, so we can play a small part in an ecosystem restoration right where we live. We hope you feel inspired to postpone mowing the lawns or weeding the garden today, and instead, put your feet up and let nature do its job.