World Wildlife Day
Posted on 28th February 2022 at 10:55
What Is World Wildlife Day?
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly made 3rd March UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise the awareness of the world’s plants and wild animals.
This year’s theme is “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”.
Did you know that according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species of wild animals and plants are very endangered. Close to 30,000 more are endangered or vulnerable. The IUCN have estimated that over 1 million species are likely to become extinct.
Why Is This Important To Us?
The loss of habitats, species and ecosystems threatens us, because we rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to make our food, housing, fuel, medicines, clothing, and much more! We all rely on nature to keep us alive and well.
Over 95% of wildflower meadows in the UK have been lost since the 1930’s, which has meant a dramatic decline in both wildflower species and the thousands of insects associated with them. Our moths, bees, butterflies, hoverflies and many other insect species on our site need a diverse range of wildflowers across the growing season to survive. Other species, such as bats and birds, need healthy insect populations to reproduce effectively, so a decline in wildflower numbers has far reaching negative effects across the foodchain. We have a huge range of birds on our site at Mires Beck, including Buzzards, Kestrels, Tawny Owls, Green Woodpeckers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and so much more! All of this wildlife, along with our famous Great Crested Newts, Common Newts, Common Lizards, and Grass Snakes all need the wildflowers for their habitats, and for the ecosystem around them to flourish, for survival.
What Is Mires Beck Doing About It?
We have a new meadow which we are working on to fully establish, but we also have tonnes of wildflowers all over the site in sunny areas, our pond and through the woods. Most of the species we sell are grown somewhere on our site.
We grow around 100 species of native Yorkshire provenance wildflowers for sale on site. These are ideal for small to large scale conservation projects whether you are creating a new meadow rejuvenating an existing one. We can have species that cover a range of habitats including full sun, semi shade, full shade and wetland/marginal habitats.
Our meadow was planted in 2020 and had around 20 species at present and we are adding to this each year. Each year we cut the meadow in mid-September to help release that year’s seed. We allow the cuttings to dry naturally for a week then rake up the cuttings to reduce the amount of nutrient build up in the soil. Most wildflower species thrive on nutrient poor soils while weeds can often grow vigorously in nutrient rich soils and take over. Keeping the grass cut low allows each years seed the reach the soil and germinate, creating an improved meadow each year in terms of numbers of plants and diversity.
Other areas like the woodland species are allowed to grow naturally and compete. This works well and attracts many insect and bird species to the habitat. All these works also allow Mires Beck to gather required amounts of seed for next year’s production.
What Can You Do To Help?
At our retail area, we will be selling our wide range of bug hotels and insect houses, as well as our Spring pollinators (such as Daffodils) to add a splash of biodiversity to your garden. Even the smallest amount can make a huge difference to your garden and the wildlife around it!
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