Autumn is fast approaching. Over the last decades, insects and birds continue to decline fast in the UK but you can do your bit to support them through the colder months:
Resist the temptation to clear up your garden. Allow vegetation to die back naturally and leave seed heads especially on plants, such as, teasels, thistles and sunflowers. This provides food and shelter for birds through the coldest months.
Don’t totally cut back your perennial plants but trim them instead and leave plenty of foliage at or near ground level for insects and birds. Piling up leaves and other vegetation to create an open compost heap could provide the perfect hibernation spot too.
Clean all your bird feeders to avoid the spread of disease to winter migrants and put up a nest box well in advance of the breeding season. A nest box could also prove a cosy spot for small birds to spend the night on particularly cold winter evenings ahead.
For early spring 2022 flowers, plant alliums, daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, crocuses, snakes head fritillaries, and bluebells this Autumn. Other wildflowers seeds which can all be sown now include: cowslip, chamomile, common knapweed, betony or meadow buttercup. Alternatively, you can buy a wildflower mix which includes all of these.
Check your own environmental lifestyle audit! Visit Footprint WWF It only takes 5 mins and you may take action from it. Google 'Environmental Lifestyle Audit' and click on the top one, which is A Rocha's 'Lifestyle Audit', to download their document with useful web links.
Collect your ring pulls from aluminium drink cans (not food tins). A charity called Purple Community Fund teaches disadvantaged people how to upcycle them for handbags and other trendy accessories to renew their confidence, self-esteem and purpose. Send them in packages, anything up to 2kg, to: PCF, PO Box 294, Hedge End, Hampshire S030 2YD.
Consider whether your money is ethically invested. Is your bank concerned with the social and environmental impact of its investments and loans? Ethical banks are regulated by the same authorities as traditional banks, abiding by the same rules. Check out these banks: Triodos, the Co-op or Ecology Building Society. Like energy suppliers, you can change where you bank by simply informing the new one and they will do the swap for you. Matthew 6:21: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!
No Mow May Challenge
If you have a garden, would you like to take part in May in the National Trust's 'No Mow May' challenge? Letting flowers bloom on your lawn provides ten times more nectar for bees and other pollinators.
At the end of the month you could also count the number of flowers on your lawn and enter the conservation charity, Plantlife's Every Flower Counts survey to find out how many bees your garden supports.
If not already doing so, consider buying peat-free compost for your garden. Not only are peatlands depleting fast but removing peat damages amazing wildlife and releases carbon into the atmosphere. Look for the peat-free signs in garden centres.
Did you know that the UK currently uses over 2 billion cotton buds every year? You can help reduce this number by using compostable cotton buds. A good option are the BamBaw Cotton Buds from this website, where you can buy a pack of 400 for £4.50 with both the packaging and the buds themselves 100% compostable.
43% of our carbon footprint comes from our own home environment. We all need to consider lowering our energy consumption to meet the levels agreed globally. Have you taken advantage of the government grant scheme to reduce your energy costs - two thirds of the cost of improvements or up to £5,000? Check out this website. Get quotes from eco firms they endorse, fill in a form online and submit it. Bob's your uncle!
Between 29-31 January, the RSPB invites us to do a Garden Bird Watch count. For an hour next weekend, sit inside with a coffee and record the birds that come to your garden. To register, get the bird identity chart and instructions click here.
The Ten Commandments of Food, proposed by World Council of Churches (WCC)