We may feel closer to nature during lockdown but too much time spent finessing our gardens could be doing more harm than good. A new survey commissioned by Jordans Cereals has found that half (49%) of us are gardening more during lockdown and we are fencing, mowing, preening and trimming our way to ‘perfection’ with the nature in our gardens paying the price.
Over a third (33%) of people admit to being garden perfectionists during lockdown. 49% per cent are weeding more than ever, with 30% spending extra time mowing the lawn and 21% have trimmed hedges and bushes back – all of which are important homes for wildlife in our gardens.
To mark International Biodiversity Day (22nd May) and to highlight this important issue, Jordans Cereals and The Wildlife Trusts have launched a ‘Leave it Wild’ campaign, calling on people to embrace nature and protect wildlife by leaving a wild patch in their garden or growing pollinator-friendly flowers on their balcony/window ledge.
Jordans farmers work in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts across the country to nurture wildlife and leave at least 10% of their land wild to boost biodiversity. Rather than reaching for the lawnmower or hedge trimmers, Brits are being encouraged to follow in the Jordans farmers’ footsteps this bank holiday weekend, leave it wild and engage in a spot of un-gardening as wildlife may have already made a home in the places people are clearing up.
Top five lockdown gardening jobs:
- Weeding (49%)
- Mowing the lawn (30%)
- Planting fruit and veg (27%
- Clearing out the shed (25%)
- Pruning hedges (21%)
The UK’s renewed obsession with manicured lawns and perfectly coiffed topiary comes at a time when biodiversity in the UK is at risk – with a staggering one in seven native species facing extinction and more than half (56%) in decline. As a result, the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.
But the nation is ready to help. Almost two thirds, 65% of Brits would support wildlife if they thought they could make a difference and over half (53%) of people surveyed would like to know more about how to increase wildlife in their garden.
Mia Hartwell, Sustainability manager at Jordans Cereals, said: “Over-gardening can actually do more harm than good, so Jordans and The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to #LeaveitWild and follow the lead of Jordans farmers, who commit 10% or more of their land for wildlife.
“Biodiversity supports all life on earth so we must do everything we can to protect it. Let’s take the pressure off ourselves to be perfect and celebrate natural beauty, not preened perfection!”
Dr Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, added: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted places in the world and yet we know how important it is, as so many people during lockdown are seeking comfort in nature, connecting to wild places and wildlife close to home. That’s why we’re keen to support Jordans’ #LeaveItWild; by leaving a corner of your garden a bit messy, not mowing the lawn or growing wildflowers in window box you can really help to provide food, shelter and stopping places for butterflies, bird and bees where you live – and by acting together we can start to bring wildlife back.”
“It’s also the perfect fit with our own nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, which kicks off on the 1st June and encourages everyone to do something wild every day of the month. Creating space for wildlife, or simply letting it create itself, is the perfect random act of wildness!”
Top 6 #LeaveItWild tips
- Only cut the grass once a month with a ‘Mohican’ cut style trim to help bees, pollinators and butterflies.
- Forget five star hotels, build your bugs a hostel from old loo rolls, sticks and dry leaves.
- Leave pollinator-friendly plants such as dandelions, nettles, daisies and buttercups to grow.
- Cut a hole in your fence for hedgehogs and other small animals to get through.
- Plant wildflowers or throw a bee bomb into your garden patch.
- Get rid of any artificial grass, which creates a desert for wildlife.
People can get involved in the campaign by sharing their own #LeaveItWild patch to be in with a chance of winning a year’s supply of Jordans Cereals.
Case study: Jordans Cereals farmer Stephen Honeywood
Jordans cereal farmer Stephen Honeywood has dedicated 12% of his farm for wildlife and created wildlife friendly habitats to attract rare species such as lapwings, brown hares, silver wash fritillary butterflies and barn owls.
“We’ve been farming here for over 100 years and are focused on protecting the environment for future generations. By creating diverse habitats and planting special crops, we have ensured that we can provide valuable food for birds in winter and early spring. Ten years ago, we rarely saw a barn owl and now we now have over 70 species of birds! You can have a big impact by gardening with wildlife in mind, so I urge people at home to join the #LeaveItWild campaign.”