A dip into the natural world

June 16, 2022 Be My Bear

A poor life this, if full of care, we have no time to stop and stare….

The sentiments of this poem by W.H Davies fell into sharp focus during the pandemic when a virus brought the world to a standstill and forced us to do just that – stop, stare and reconnect with the natural world.

As towns and cities locked down, animals wandered unhindered up and down high streets from jackals in Tel Aviv, Israel and raccoons in New York’s Central Park to buffalo herds in New Delhi and our very own Great Orme goats in Llandudno, North Wales very close to our Be My Bear offices. Suddenly we all found ourselves with plenty of free time to enjoy the best very of nature in our gardens and parks and, for those of us fortunate enough to live in or close to countryside, the wild unspoilt parts of our very beautiful world.

Normality has returned post Covid, but the pandemic has re-set our relationship with all things green with data confirming what many have always suspected that nature and green spaces are vital for our mental and physical wellbeing.

More than 40 % of people say nature, wildlife and visiting local green spaces have been more important to their health since the restrictions began and have continued since they were lifted.

Gardening became particularly popular during the pandemic – we created indoor gardens in high rise blocks, planted seeds on small balconies and lifted artificial grass to create flower and vegetable beds. And the trend is here to stay with seed sellers reporting flourishing sales, demand for allotments reaching new highs and garden centres becoming the focus for shoppers.

Gardens attract wildlife from insects to hedgehogs and can be used to create different environments with very little maintenance. Lawns, if left uncut are an important habitat for insects and birds which feed on them, flowering borders create nectar rich food for butterflies and bees, woodpiles and compost can provide homes for slow worms and grass snakes while hedges offer roosting areas and cover for birds and mammals.

I have just embarked on my very own pond project.  It is a work in progress but I hope it will eventually become a habitat for dragon flies, frogs, toads, and newts.

We started by marking out the pond with a rope and then began to dig!  using a spirit level on a pank across the hole to ensure the sides were level. We then dropped the liner in and weighed it down with large rocks using rainwater to fill the pond. It had to settle for two weeks before we could plant it up with native pond plants. I now have two water lilies, some oxygenating plants to keep the pond healthy, and a couple of deep water plants which like to have their pots on the bottom of the pond.

I'll add some floating plants to provide shade and help remove nitrates from the water as well as marginals around the edge to attract wildlife to the pond. In the meantime, I look forward to getting home from work each day to check on any visitors. So far all I can lay claim to are flying insects and one lonely water boatman, but it’s a start and insects are a food source so watch this space! Oh, and I forgot to mention I have some ducks – sadly they are the plastic variety, but where there are frogs ………


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