Humans, yep, us, like to measure things, everything, length, meters or kilometres, or miles. Capacity, pints, litres, areas, m2 or km2. It makes us feel good and that maybe we have some small amount of control over our lives.
However, we are not as good at doing it when we are destroying things. And in this case, I am talking about the habitats of the wild creatures that we share our world with, but we are destroying habitats and find all manner of excuses to justify it.
Fortunately, there is a growing body of people who are saying that this kind of behaviour must stop. And they are right, the examples are everywhere, if you have the privilege of age it’s easy to have an unqualified view. There are fewer sparrows around us, indeed many species are in decline. In the last few years there are visibly fewer butterflies and the decline in the number of bumble bees has been well researched and reported. The examples are numerous, any google search will give you an endless supply of specie declines that need to be stopped.
There are many large organisations that are doing all they can, the Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are possibly the biggest and they have large reserves all over the country and visiting them can be a fantastic experience.
Ultimately though there’s only so much they can do even with the weight of membership they carry.
It is then up to us, the simple householder. Again, a quick google search suggests that there are about 25 million domestic homesteads in the UK if the average garden is 102. That means that there is approximately 250 million square km of the UK that is gardens. That is bigger than the actual size of the UK, but you get the picture, an awful lot of the UK is gardens.
And that means that as householders there is huge amount we can actually achieve if we group together. All we must do is put in nectar rich planting such as hebes and lavenders, as well as more typical types of food, especially for birds, such as seeds, nuts and our cut up left over fatty foods.
Watching birds is good for us, their behaviours around a feeder are especially entertaining and therapeutic. And so is saving the bees and thus the planet.
We can also help out the RSPB, they have the big garden bird watch coming up on 26 and 27th January. All you have to do is watch and count birds and put the data on the RSPB website. There’s a few do’s and don’ts but they are on the website too.
Of course, we could help you with the bird watch, we could also help you make some small or very large changes to your gardens to make them perfect for you, the birds and animals that will enhance and enrich your lives and ultimately help the RSPB with their numbers.
Incidentally, whilst the bird watch is not rigorous by scientific standards because it has been going for so many years it’s a pretty bloody good indicator of what’s going on with the birds in our gardens. And as I said earlier, we do like to measure, count and record things so it scratches that itch too!
There’s a fantastic world out there if we just choose to be a part of it rather than apart from it!