Good Gardening Can Slow Climate Change

As the world’s temperatures change, many species of birds, bees, butterflies, and mice will lose their feeding and breeding grounds. Treehugger has already reported on the effects on plant life, as warmer temperatures cause them to migrate to cooler areas. This change affects the wildlife that relies on these plants. British birds are already showing signs of being affected: 2004 was the worst breeding season for many seabirds, with a decline in woodland and farmland birds also attributed to changing weather patterns. Wildlife gardening-- making your garden more welcoming to wild creatures—is being encouraged as another aspect of the solution. Many gardeners already know the importance of growing plants which are native to their local area instead of exotic flowers which require intensive care (and watering). Among the tips suggested by English Nature are planting colourful flowers, honeysuckle and lavender to attract butterflies. Bumblebees like pollen-rich flowers such as foxglove, thyme and campanula. Do not use slug pellets or pesticides. Ponds provide a habitat for frogs and amphibians—one third of which are under threat. For the birds: planting flowers with seedheads and shrubs with berries provides food in the autumn. Evergreen trees offer protection for nests. Using less water is equally important. This means collecting rainwater in barrels for re-use, using compost and mulches to prevent weeds and growing plants that need less water. Since nearly two thirds of british adults are gardeners—amazingly that’s twice as many as those who watch football—these steps can make a difference. :: The Observer

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