Serving the people of Kettering

Rewilding & biodiversity

Rewilding is restoring ecosystems to the point where nature can take care of itself, and restoring our relationship with the natural world.

Rewilding is about all of us finding ways to work and live within healthy, flourishing ecosystems. Rewilding can enrich lives and help us to reconnect with wild nature while providing a sustainable future for local and wider communities. It can help stop species extinction, tackle climate change and improve our overall health and wellbeing.

More than half our species nationally are in decline and 15% are threatened with extinction. Native woodland covers just 2.5% of our land.

Benefits of rewilding:

  • Draws down carbon from the atmosphere
  • Helps wildlife adapt to climate change
  • Reverses biodiversity loss
  • Improves our health and wellbeing

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you'll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, to maintain balance and support life

Want to know more? Read the Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs and Northants report

How can we make a start?

  • Connecting habitats

We can do this with green corridors and wildlife bridges so wildlife can move and disperse naturally.

We can also plant seed bombs/wildflowers – you can buy these e.g. from the Woodland Trust, or make your own https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-make-seed-bomb

  • Creating wildlife friendly parks, streets and gardens

Human impact on the earth can have a devastating impact on biodiversity. Small steps like keeping to walking paths, and not stepping through flowers or crops, can help protect what is growing there.

Many of us have limited growing space, so make the most of your space with vertical planting

The Council is starting to phase out glyphosate as a weedkiller as it has negative effects on pollinators, and there is evidence to suggest it is also carcinogenic. Consider organic weedkillers, ask for your street to not be sprayed, and reframe your thinking - those "weeds" on the pathway are actually a pollinator picnic!

Want to make your street glyphosate free? Pledge your support here!

https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/organic-weedkillers/

Make holes at the bottom of garden fences or leave spaces in or between walls so that mammals such as hedgehogs have a means of moving through gardens, and provide a water source so that they can remain hydrated, especially during hot summer spells and periods of drought where water is scarce.

Many refer to these as 'Hedgehog Highways', and a good place for these holes is behind a bush or wherever there's a bit of cover. This not only helps the hole be less noticeable to you, but also helps them to feel safe.

Leave piles of sticks, leaves and other garden litter during the winter when animals such as hedgehogs might be using them as a place to hibernate, and leave bushes, ivy, and trees uncut during the spring and early summer (start of March onwards) to avoid disturbing birds who may be nesting and rearing young in them.

  • Make your vegetable patch wildlife friendly

Research the plants and vegetables that are local to your area and grow a variety. Each plant and vegetable helps to protect biodiversity and supports the wider ecosystem of your local area. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-grow-wildlife-friendly-vegetable-garden

  • Collect and conserve water

Fresh bodies of water are essential to biodiversity. Reducing the amount of water you use, by having a 5-minute shower or not running the water when washing up the dishes, can help protect vital wetlands. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-conserve-water

Creating a small pond in your garden can be a really easy way to boost wildlife – some residents have got innovative and reused old pots to do this, such as one Kettering resident who dug his broken slow-cooker basin into the ground. Already his slow-cooker pond is teeming with life!

  • Feed the bees

Bees pollinate nearly 90% of plant species and they contribute to more than 35% of the world's food supply. Give pollinators an extra boost in your backyard by planting a variety of wildflowers and native plants to provide nectar that will bloom throughout the season. You can also build bee boxes for native bees to make their home.

Kettering and Corby Councils have a shared initiative called Pardon the Weeds, we're feeding the Bees which has been widely copied.

https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/environment/bee-heaven-created-kettering-and-corby-councils-goes-viral-around-uk-2540959

  • Walk

Climate change can have devastating consequences for biodiversity. Reducing your carbon footprint by taking the bus or walking can help protect it.Getting active outdoors is easy, cheap, fun and good for your health. Walk in Weekley Hall Woods, The Northants Wetlands at Rushden Lakes or find a more adventurous wild walk

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/visit/choose-your-adventure/find-walk-near-you

  • Buy local

Buying from your local farmer at a farmers' market or through a farm shop gives you the ability to find out how your food was grown and learn what they are doing on the farm to help conserve biodiversity

  • Reduce light pollution

Turn off outdoor lighting such as garden lamps and floodlights when they are not required to reduce the impact of night-time lighting on nocturnal species such as moths. Artificial lighting – particularly LEDs – can reduce activity, disrupt behaviour, and stop moths from carrying out important activities at night when most species are typically flying, such as feeding on flowers and laying eggs. This is most clearly seen through 'phototaxis' (flight-to-light) when moths fly around and bump into light sources.

Reference: Boyes et al. (2020): Is light pollution driving moth population declines? A review of causal mechanisms across the life cycle https://resjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/icad.12447?af=R

https://butterfly-conservation.org/how-you-can-help/get-involved/gardening/gardening-for-butterflies

Local organisations involved in biodiversity work

  • Kettering Town Council have £3000 for tree planting and biodiversity in our 22/23 budget. To get involved with the planned projects or to pitch a project in your area email clerk@ketteringtowncouncil.gov.uk or come along to our next Climate Change Working Group meeting
  • Natural Ise is a local group working to rewild and enhance the area along the Ise River, and has done a considerable amount of tree planting too. Join the Facebook group and get involved!
  • The Kettering Eco Group has been planting trees in Kettering for the past three years, planting in February and November each year. Join the Facebook community or follow their page for information
  • Wicksteed Park have increased their biodiversity work and tree planting in recent years, and are always looking for volunteers. They currently are looking for help to develop the arboretum at the bottom of the park. If you are interested in seeing what they need help with, email community@wicksteedpark.org
  • Buccleugh Estates are looking to improve the biodiversity on their land, for which there is a lot of space and scope. If you are interested, get in touch via their website
  • 'Back from the Brink' is a conservation project in Rockingham. Get involved via the website and find out how you can help going on across Rockingham Forest to improve habitats, biodiversity and reintroduce extinct species.

National organisations involved in rewilding and improving biodiversity

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

01954 713500

www.rewild.org

www.rewildingbritain.org.uk

https://www.rspb.org.uk

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/

https://butterflyconservation.org

https://naturebftb.co.uk/projects/roots-of-rockingham/

Last updated: Fri, 06 May 2022 09:23