After watching Extinction The Facts, it made me pause before I ran the mower over a persistent patch of nettles that I've had in the corner of my front garden behind the hedge. Until my clearing frenzy in my isolation, the patch had thrived there quite happily as a habit space, I left it.
I should practice what I preach. When we have school parties and I take them down to the woods, I point out it doesn't matter how small your garden is, you can always be a custodian of wildlife. Leaving a patch of nettles/long grass, stones/rumble or upside down earth pots for insects and amphibians to hide/live in. Sometimes we get over zealous in keeping our gardens as tidy as our homes. The pictures of land destruction on a major scale on TV is awesome, in the wrong sense. Sometimes we do this clear earth policy in our own gardens killing and pulling out all weeds to stop encroachment into our space. 10m of cleared earth looks like a grand scale to a grasshopper or toad looking for a dark damp place. When we have our hedges occasionally trimed , the driver points out he can easily trim it back by 4m. As we receive no income from our (rare) permanent grass fields It's better to leave the hedges wide for the wildlife.. But I can't wait to get hold of the trimmer to release our apple trees from some of that bramble!
I wish the program had done more on what we as gardeners could do to help mitigate the loss of insects and other wildlife. I remember going into tunnels and listening to 1,000's of insects pinging off the plastic. Memories at this time of year seeing fields full of starlings, rooks and crows pulling out the leatherjacket grubs of the daddy-long-legs. How often do we see either the daddy long legs or flocks of starlings around.
On a more cheerful note I feel there were more insects around this year, as whenever I was on a bike I had to keep my mouth shut, for once, as it would inevitably fill with the odd insect or two.
Many of our plants that need pollinators such as Broad Beans, courgettes and squashes have done very well this year.. The bright colours of various squashes are now displayed in the farm shop, Hopefully some of you managed to get to our Apple Day and walks around the farm on Sunday 27 Sept. A chance to see how in our own small way we are trying to enhance the environment.