What does 'Biodiversity' mean?

 

In it’s simplest form it means ‘gardening with the intention of increasing native biodiversity’ and in its scientific form it means ‘Variety of Life’. This means shaping and considering nurturing your garden in a way that creates a desirable habitat for plants, animals, fungi, single celled creatures and bacteria, which are native to your area.  We also call it 'Making Your Garden Greener'.

Why do we need to have greener gardens?

 

Each living thing on Earth plays a vital role within our ecosystem, from the tiniest organism to the largest animal. They all contribute to keeping our planet in balance to be a place where life can be sustained. Biodiversity ensures we have:

 

  • Breathable Air

  • Drinkable Water

  • Food

It also supports our health and well being, contributes to our economy and is part of our cultural heritage.

Why is it important to encourage garden biodiversity?

 

Now more than 70% of the UK is used for agricultural purposes, areas are being commercially harvested for their natural resources and aggressive building on our green land is resulting in vital habitats being lost. Combined with the effects of global warming, our wildlife is suffering.

 

Soil health has deteriorated, farmland birds have fallen in number and there are far fewer flower meadows, hedgerows and trees.

 

  • There has been a 25% decline in the Swift population in only 5 years.

  • Globally 40% of insect species are in decline and a third of insects are considered endangered.

  • Starting during WW2 our hedgerows were being removed to make way for farming; thousands of miles per year were destroyed. Currently it is due to decline and decay that they are diminishing in Scotland.

  • 90% of our orchards have been lost since the 1970’s due to being considered not economical viable.

  • 2 out of our 24 bee species are almost extinct. Honey Bees have increased in population though it is the wild bees that are relied upon for pollination.

  • The number of butterflies have dropped by 40%, 60% for the species who are ‘habitat specific’. The good news is that the numbers have stopped falling but are still below optimal.

  • Hedgehogs numbers have been since 2000, there are maybe only 1 million left, down 97% from the 30 million in 1950.

  • Since 1950 we have lost 96% of our diverse, species rich meadows.

What can we do?

 

In addition to our beautiful common green spaces, over half of Riverside is gardens and it is here that we believe a little effort can make a big difference. Insects and wildlife come into our gardens as a last resort so Riverside Naturally wants to encourage and support making our green spaces and gardens an inviting space for these displaced species.

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