Making space for Nature in our Parish

We are indeed fortunate to live in the green county of Herefordshire and able to enjoy outdoor spaces.  Yet, even here, wildlife is in danger as the spaces for them have disappeared over the years, mainly due to urban expansion and intensive farming practices needed to feed the nation.

Last year Herefordshire County Council asked the parish councils to come up with a plan to combat Climate Change as part of the County Plan 2020-2024.  In the Bishopstone Group Parish, we decided to see what we could do to create space for nature, the main victim of our changing world.

In this way our community can fight Climate Change – in the coming months we’ll be covering other topics including recycling, reducing our carbon footprint and how to be eco-friendly.

Nature is not just something you watch on television, we can appreciate it in our gardens and all around us.  Our aim is to create more spaces where wildlife can flourish… here are some of things we can do:

Invite wildlife back into our gardens –
Create a space for wild flowers and choose plants that are bee friendly.  These range from lavender, honeysuckle and ivy to snowdrops, sage and forget-me-nots.  There’s a nectar rich plant for every season ensuring bees have food and energy throughout the year.   You’ll be rewarded with bumble bees and other insects flocking to your garden. We’ll have wild flowers available so contact us if you’re interested.

Consider having a bug hotel and making spaces under fences so hedgehogs and other wildlife can travel between gardens.  A tidy garden isn’t good for wildlife, leave a corner undisturbed for insects, butterflies and other animals to over-winter. There’s more ideas on the Wild About Gardens website – created by the RHS and the Wildlife Trusts.

Verges become wildlife havens – 
When seeded with wild flowers, verges become places where insects flourish and then all the animals that feed off these insects.  We’ll focus on the Kentchester triangle of grass and verges at the Bridge Sollars crossroads and see if they can become wildlife havens.  If you have a verge in front of your house this too can become a vital home for nectar-giving plants.

Visit wildlife rich meadows – 
Bishon Common in Bishopstone  is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and now open for all to visit thanks to the opening of a byway into the common. The lake is usually home to snipe, geese and ducks.  This Spring, we’ve seen orchids, cowslips and yellow flag irises and many more.

If you have a wild flower patch or meadow, do get in touch.  We want to build a picture of the range of wildlife habitats in the parish, and plan an Open Day so people can see for themselves what can be achieved by giving nature a helping hand.

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a huge issue like Climate Change.  But together we can all help to make a difference.

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