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World Environment Day

International Day of Biodiversity 2021 is celebrated by the Convention of Biological Diversity.

World Environment Day 2021 is celebrated by Friends of Heene Cemetery with a guided tour by Brian Day.

Return your garden to a natural environment to encourage wildlife into it!

Read Brian Day’s top tips on World Environment Day!

Brian Day, a  qualified biological scientist and nature conservation adviser, shared his top tips with gardeners of all ages for encouraging wildlife into Worthing’s urban gardens on World Environment Day.

Even though it’s a confined green space in the middle of urban Worthing, the closed cemetery is teeming with wildlife because of the way it’s managed.

So, to celebrate World Environment Day, on 5 June, Brian led visitors on a discovery mission to inspire them with ways to encourage wildlife into their own gardens – using the ‘minimal interference’ style of conservation management employed in Heene Cemetery.

World Environment Day – Return your garden to a natural environment to encourage wildlife into it!

Our aim was to encourage children to take the tour, as they are the future guardians of our precious planet, and they need to understand the role they can play in helping nature to recover and thrive

“No matter what space you have, it’s possible to attract wildlife. If you return your garden to native habitat, by replacing foreign and cultivated plants by native plants, wildlife will find it and make it their home. Wildlife reserves can come in all shapes and sizes and are increasingly important at a time when many of our familiar animals and plants are now seldom seen because they are facing decline or extinction, often through absence of suitable undisturbed and unpoisoned habitat.”  

Brian Day

Here are his top five tips for how you can encourage wildlife into your personal green space:

1.      Change your mindset, and think of your garden less as your private space and more as a green space that’s suitable for wildlife.

2.      Over a period of time replace any conifers; and foreign trees, shrubs and cultivated plants, with native plants. As native plants have been in the local area much longer, wildlife is better adapted to these. There are no conifers native to the south of England, so they do not belong in our gardens or countryside.

3.      After you remove all debris from foreign and cultivated plants, try to let the natural materials from native plants, such as fallen leaves and twigs, recycle naturally. The soil will then become a natural, nutrient-rich environment, which will encourage the fungi, bacteria, other microorganisms, and invertebrates that enable whole food chains for wildlife to become established in your garden.

4.      . Treat your garden as though it was an extension of the countryside! Gardens that feel like the countryside feel more natural to wildlife, so aim to stop all tidying, use of chemicals, digging (except when planting), mowing, pruning and any other traditional gardening practices.

5.      Research what wildlife is natural for the area you live in and replant accordingly, such as butterfly and caterpillar food plants, nectar and pollen plants for bees, berried plants for birds, and use other means, such as log piles, bug refuges, ponds, etc., to provide homes and shelter.

A maintenance programme to favour and encourage native plants is now the mainstay of the restoration work.

Read Brian Day’s top tips on World Environment Day on how you can encourage wildlife into your personal green space.

No chemicals of any kind are used in the cemetery, and soil disturbance is avoided as far as possible.