Why create an area for nature?
Kent is renowned for its natural beauty and for the wide green spaces that sustain our native wildlife. However, the value of small green spaces closer to home should not be underestimated. The threat of climate change and the fact that more and more species of British wildlife are becoming endangered due to loss of habitat make the creation and welfare of wildlife areas ever more important. The additional benefits that you can gain from making a wildlife area are enormous. Designing, creating and looking after your very own green space instills a feeling of ownership which can improve mental as well as physical wellbeing.
Who can use this pack?
Anyone! Even the smallest piece of ground can be transformed into a valuable habitat for nature. Whether you want to encourage wildlife within school grounds, in a community space, in your own back garden or merely on a small rooftop, you will find ideas here that can be adapted to suit your needs. In addition to the importance of these areas in relation to health, there are many more features that greenery “performs or stimulates” in urban areas. One of them is certainly the creation of a pleasant ambience of public spaces in which the residents have the opportunity to spend a certain amount of their time and realize social contacts and perform various social interactions.
How do I use the information pack?
The following pages aim to provide a step-by-step guide to creating and maintaining a space for nature, and the information to seek further guidance if necessary. You will also find links for further research on the topic, and for more information on the wildlife, you will be attracting.
Each PDF contains several bookmarks to the left-hand side which will allow you to skip straight to the section you require e.g. Ponds
Health and safety
Please do keep health and safety issues in mind when planning your activities. Make a careful judgment on how you involve children.
As with most outdoor activities, there are potential hazards attached and risk assessments should be carried out prior to any work taking place. Safe use of tools and any necessary protective clothing and equipment should also be considered. Take the time to fully understand all the safety measures you need to take and follow in order to achieve your goal. Don’t be shy to share your goals with others around you and get the help you may need.
Sourcing your materials – why buy local products?
Try to choose products that have not had a detrimental effect on the environment. For example, if you are not producing your own compost, buy it from your local waste recycling site – bags can be purchased at most sites. Local woodland products such as hazel pea sticks and chestnut fence posts should be used instead of bamboo or tanalized softwood, and FSC certified timber ensures that your wood has come from a sustainable source. Ask your Countryside Management Partnership for details (see below). Of course, you may find all sorts of materials in your garden shed that can be recycled and used to fantastic effect. Check what you already have before buying in new products for any activity.
When planning a project in your grounds we would urge you to consider using locally-produced materials wherever possible. Doing so not only puts money into the local economy but also means that your products will have traveled fewer miles, reducing the carbon footprint of the project.
Kent’s Countryside Management Partnerships
Across the county, Kent’s Countryside Management Partnerships, supported by Kent County Council, the Kent Eco-Schools Project and the London Borough of Bexley, have collaborated to produce this pack on behalf of the Kent Biodiversity Partnership. If you have any questions regarding the creation of your natural area, please contact your local Partnership for help and advice (see section 1). Alternatively, email email@example.com for general inquiries about the pack. We welcome any feedback.