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How Does Your Own Garden Grow Wildlife-Friendly? ‘It’s All About sex’

Published on: 26 Jan, 2020
Updated on: 26 Jan, 2020

Springwatch celebrity Kate Bradbury told a packed and keen audience in Guildford on Thursday (January 23): “It’s all about sex.”

Kate Bradbury talks about rewilding to a Guildford crowd.

In a lively talk on rewilding, the author, journalist and gardener spoke about simple ways of attracting birds and bees to the UK’s 27 million gardens.

Complex flowers bred only for their looks didn’t help, she said. “The sex parts of flowers are in the centre. If you can’t see them, it’s no good for the bees.”

About 100 people, including councillors, attended the talk at St Nicolas Church in the town centre, organised by the Guildford branch of the environmental activist group, Extinction Rebellion (XR).

Kate Bradbury talks about rewilding gardens to a Guildford crowd at St Nicolas Church.

Ms Bradbury, an XR supporter, described how to make the huge resource of gardens in the UK, however small, immediately attractive to wildlife. “We can prevent extinctions one garden at a time.”

She said wildlife needed shelter, food and water and quite simple changes in gardens can work quickly. “In less than two months, I had wildlife established in my small basement-flat garden.”

People should talk to neighbours and help set up compost heaps for shelter, she added, especially as an open pile so animals can get to it. Ponds, even only a metre wide and 300mm deep with shallow sides, would attract insects and animals.

Ms Bradbury said grass should be allowed to grow, and log piles, bird-baths, letting some vegetable plants flower to encourage flies would help, as well as planting trees. Native species were best, she added, because “the longer a plant has been growing in the UK, the better it is for our wildlife”.

“If you have room to plant a tree, plant five. You will be dead by the time they are too big.”

Ms Bradbury’s books include The Wildlife Gardener and The Bumblebee Flies Anyway and they are available in bookshops and online.

There was a queue for book signing by Ms Bradbury after the rewilding talk at St Nicolas Church in Bury Street.

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Responses to How Does Your Own Garden Grow Wildlife-Friendly? ‘It’s All About sex’

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    January 28, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I regret that I did not get to this meeting but, as a wildlife gardener, I can thoroughly recommend the practice.

    It is far more rewarding and interesting than traditional gardening.

    The best lawn, in my opinion, is the one with the most species in it, all allowed to flower and seed or, in other words, a meadow.

  2. Julia Shaw Reply

    February 3, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Made our log pile today. Thank you for the inspiring talk.

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