I was watching Incredible Journeys with Simon Reeve on the BBC recently and saw yet another indicator of the desperate state of our climate, as Simon told of the spontaneous outpouring of concern by indigenous peoples at how their environment t was changing for the worse and becoming more unpredictable.
Many of us have come to realise that if government the world over aren’t moving quickly enough to address the very real issues our natural world is facing, then it’s down to the people to act.
Bioneers—Revolution from the Heart of Nature (https://bioneers.org), is an innovative nonprofit organisation that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet.
In an article on the website, entitled New Pathways for Old Wisdom: Mari Margil on the Rights of Nature, we are reminded of the following:
Everybody starts in that same place of the fundamental sense that something is wrong and something needs to shift. I take great hope and inspiration from that because people are doing something that’s really difficult. People are willing to step outside their comfort zone because they know something terrible is happening to the planet, and we need to do something really dramatic to make change.
I think people should take hope knowing that other regular Joes just like them are doing something, that they can do it too, and that they don’t need to be any kind of professor, expert, or lawyer. Anybody can do this.
I wanted to share this great article from the National History Museum website, that goes into detail on just how much nature has enjoyed our periods of lockdown. It was written a few months ago but is certainly still relevant now.
As many of us have been forced to stay indoors during both lockdowns, it may be hard to find positives to take from these strange times. But nature-lovers will certainly be able to appreciate what the last year has done for the nature that surrounds us.
The NHM brought up some interesting statistics about what changed during lockdown, such as an “81% drop in driving and public transport” at the lowest point (in April), which shows just how much our behaviour changed in the space of a few months. Naturally, these changes were very welcomed by our wildlife.
Much fewer vehicles on the road means the level of air pollution was significantly cut and the quality of our air dramatically increased. One measure found that carbon dioxide emissions in London “dropped by 60% during lockdown”. Our air has gotten cleaner, which is not only fantastic news for ourselves but also for the plants and animals that compose our environment!
How did the animal world react?
During the first lockdown, reported sightings of practically every animal species were up! (according to iReport) Some examples include 66% more bee, ant and wasp sightings, 143% more bats, 97% more butterflies and 13% more deer and hoofed animals. These times that may seem restricting for us humans has been liberating for the animal world. We even saw a flock of sheep making the most of an empty playground (video: https://cutt.ly/Oj7lY7G).
Lockdown has given many of us an opportunity to reconnect with nature, whether that be through long walks, starting your own garden, or becoming one of many new birdwatchers. We must not squander this opportunity to become more thoughtful of the nature that surrounds us as our cities slowly head towards a reopening.
Something that caught my eye a while back: using seaweed in our gardening.
This is a fantastic innovation in the agronomy field that we have recently incorporated into our work at Wild Beast Gardening. In our field, we always relish improvements to how the soil and our plants can be treated – this makes for stronger, healthier plants and better gardens (and happier homeowners!).
Seaweed extracts have proven to be very useful to ourselves and the gardening world. By incorporating this new element into the traditional template for a healthy plant – good irrigation, a well-balanced soil, the right nutritional program and a non-harmful pest prevention strategy – we have been able to see some fantastic results in both plant quality and plant health.
The seaweed products, as the article says, are “derived from kelp and have been proven to increase antioxidant production in the plant, as well as to promote cell division and root growth”. This is thanks to a specific growth hormone found in seaweed called cytokinins. A study conducted at the University of Florida showed that plots that used the seaweed extracts saw the length of plant roots double. This is an amazing result.
Furthermore, Harrells, one of the producers of seaweed fertilizer, has created a solution that achieves even better results. They combined the original seaweed extract with a new seaweed extract “derived from a kelp mined off the coast of South Africa” which saw the promotion of larger and longer roots. These advancements are good news for the health of our plants.
Seaweed has proven to be one of the best natural fertilizers and fits perfectly into our mix of environmentally friendly products to best treat your plants and gardens. If you would like to see a side-by-side comparison of root growth using the seaweed extract, you can do so by following the link to the Harrells post above.
Here at Wild Beast Gardening, we’re pleased to say that we’ve removed harsh, environmentally damaging chemicals from our range of treatments. Many products are now organic, or meet similar, high standards for sustainability.
In our climate we must adapt to the ever changing world. We may have to change materials, resources, plants and methods of gardening here in the UK.
But there is a lot to be grateful for and to look forward to. In the UK we are lucky to be able to grow a lot of different varieties hardy enough to withstand our unstable and uncertain winters. Now it’s time to bring in the new age of plants, the ones that will adapt to our journey as humans grow in to respect our environment.