Biodiversity is all around us, in towns and gardens as well as in the countryside. We all have a part to play to protect biodiversity and the integrity of our environment.
Individuals in their lifestyle choices and practically in their gardens can make a real contribution. Businesses and public organisations now have a duty of care to consider biodiversity as part of sustainable social and economic development.
One simple and practical way in which both individuals and organisations can promote biodiversity is to sow wild seed.
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) is the government co-ordinated response to protect a designated list of priority species and habitats. It includes over 1000 species and 65 habitats. Local authorities and wildlife groups implement these BAP plans regionally and include practical objectives and targets.
Wild flower seed mixtures have already demonstrated their value for enhancing and restoring biodiversity in a number of key BAP priority habitats:
Sowing seed and good management can enhance the biodiversity of individual sites. When many schemes link up they combine to create a resource of greater value than the sum of its parts. Meadows and wildlife areas created in gardens can, for example, be linked by road verges landscaped with wild flowers to similarly enriched field margins around farm crops. This network of connected habitats, once established, will become an invaluable resource boosting, amongst other things, the number and diversity of pollinating insects upon which our food crops depend.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life on earth. The concept of Biodiversity (as agreed by international convention) encompasses diversity of all plant, animal, fungi and microbial species as well as the genetic diversity that exists within these species on a local level. Biodiversity also includes the many and varied associations of these organisms in ecological complexes and ecosystems.
Why does biodiversity matter?
Biodiversity is not important just because of the direct benefits that can be obtained from individual species. Biodiversity is important because all life, including human life, is intricately interdependent on all other life; the loss of any part of the network of life can produce knock on effects through the whole life-support system. Systems that are rich in species and genetic diversity are generally more resilient and more able to adapt to change whether locally or globally, natural or man-made (as with climate change).