A wildlife garden at work presents countless opportunities to relieve stress and improve the mood. There's countless research confirming the merits of spending time with nature - it's good for our mental health, it's good for nature, and it's good for the planet.
Observing the natural world helps to focus our attention on the things that truly matter. At work, a little time pondering the local flora and fauna increases productivity and brings people together to focus on a common cause. (protecting nature). Launching a team project to create a space for nature makes a great team bonding session and encourages colleagues to talk more openly about their mental health. But don't just take our word for it - bring Springwatch to you own Commercial Space and make a little more room for the natural world.
Fostering a connection to nature can take as much time as it takes - First create the space and then see what shows up... If you've seen Kevin Costner in the film 'Field of Dream;' you know how it goes: 'If you build it, they will come.'
We started handing back commercial space to nature in 2008. Today, we have long grasses with scattered flowers creating a welcoming habitat for lots of different species. We've tried not to interfere too much with the space - just giving it a friendly nudge here and there to make sure it's doing what it should be doing. But that's the thing about handing space back to nature - it prefers it when you leave it well alone! The goal is to encourage different species of plants to grow, help insects to thrive and to create shelter for small animals.
Customers who visit our site often remark how much life there is from rabbits hopping around the car park to pheasants and around 30 plus species of wild bird. They're all very welcome here at the bird food centre. As are you!
If you're starting out, consider the inclusion of cornflowers, buddleia, poppies, marigolds, daises and meadow grass and lavender, these will encourage the beneficial bees, butterflies, ladybirds, insects etc. We are not experts in wildlife gardening, but nature seems to appreciate our helping hand.
Growing climbers such as ivy, varieties of roses and clematis are a good source of food and pollen and birds happily nest amongst the ivy.
Create space for a pond - a pond is a real boost for wildlife, it doesn’t have to be huge just sink a pond in the wildlife garden but make sure there are stones, rocks and branches to help the wildlife get in and out and avoid locating it in full sun or full shade.
Here's what we're doing in our wildlife garden:
Trees and shrubs have been left to grow a little wilder because that's what nature seems to like.
We've made space for two bird ponds in the wildlife garden - the holes have been excavated ready for them to be placed in for constant drinking and bathing for birds. We're just waiting for a gap in the weather to get out there and commission the ponds. We're excited to see what changes the constant supply of water will bring to the garden.
We placed a feeding station in our garden in a sheltered position so it’s an equal balance of sun and shade, also make sure they have a good all-round view and they can see that they are safe from predators.
We'll keep you updated with the pond and other additions as summer unfolds...
In the meantime, please share your wildlife areas with us because it would be great to see what you're doing out there.