For many years, Kent Wildlife Trust has run a Wild About Gardens advice and awards scheme to support and recognise individuals, groups and organisations in maximising the value of their gardens for wild species. Needless to say, for those fortunate enough to have access to them, gardens represent a great opportunity for biological recording and long-term monitoring especially under COVID restrictions.
Below is information regarding this year's activities from the coordinator, Maureen Rainey:
Nature is in trouble. We are suffering loss of biodiversity at an alarming rate, in particular insects. But it is not too late. We can all do something to reverse the trend and these actions, however small, will add up to a huge difference. After all, there are 22 million gardens in the UK and together they cover an area greater than nature reserves.
I work with an award-winning team of volunteers at Kent Wildlife Trust who are eager to encourage people to make their gardens and local green spaces more nature friendly. In 2020 because of Covid 19, we were unable to visit gardens in person, so the volunteers have been giving wildlife friendly gardening advice using digital means.
We noticed similar questions occur on regular basis and, rather than just issuing a standard list of “frequently asked questions”, we have planned a series of short, friendly workshops. These will initially be via Zoom. Each session will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people to give all participants the opportunity to ask questions and take part in discussions. If the sessions are oversubscribed, we will hold a waiting list for repeat sessions, so no one is turned away. It is hoped that, as the year progresses, we will be able to run live sessions from various venues.
The dates for the Zoom sessions are:
23 Jan 2021: Dealing with perceived pests in a wilder garden: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2021-01-23-dealing-perceived-pests-wilder-garden-online-course
28 Jan 2021 : Pollinator friendly gardening: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2021-01-28-pollinator-friendly-gardening-online-course
20 Feb 2021: Building & maintaining a garden wildlife pond: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2021-02-20-building-and-maintaining-garden-wildlife-pond-online-course-pm
20 March 2021: Wilder lawns: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2021-03-20-wilder-lawns-online-course
We are excited to announce that later in the year some of our volunteers will be opening their gardens and giving practical tips on how to make all types of garden nature friendly. Each event will be focussed on one or two specific topics, such as ponds or wilder lawns, and experienced volunteers will be on hand to deal with questions. The relevant Covid 19 restrictions will be adhered to at each site. Booking will be essential and timed tickets can be obtained via Kent Wildlife Trust’s website from January onwards.
Sat 24 April: Wateringbury garden focussing on ponds, nature friendly vegetable gardening and hedgehog habitats
Sat 16 May: Doddington garden focussing on insects and birds
Sat 5 June: Edenbridge garden focussing on wilder lawns
Sat 26 June: Gravesend garden focussing on pollinators and ponds
Sat 18 July: A repeat of the Doddington garden showing seasonal differences and focussing on insects and birds