Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Post 476 - #OwningIt & #OurBrightFuture

The raw materials
Hey everyone, post 476 today and it's the start this week of a fantastic new campaign. A few months ago I was lucky enough to be asked to give a talk at a local youth nature summit organised by Tomorrows Natural Leaders (see blog post here). This is one of a series of projects around the country being run as part of the Our Bright Future programme led by the Wildlife Trusts. It was really good to be involved with so I'm glad to see that something they mentioned would be happening has started this week.

The site
This is a new campaign called #Owningit. In the words of #OurBrightFuture it's about this:

We are asking organisations, projects and young people both within and outside of Our Bright Future to join the #OwningIt movement. We want to illustrate the large-scale impact that can be made to the environment when many people take small actions. The campaign will provide inspiration and ideas to excite young people and encourage them to take action.

You can read more on their website, there's lots going on, loads of organisations and young people are showing how they are trying to make a difference.

Cutting logs to size
Well after giving me a chance to do my talk and as I'm very passionate about connecting young people with nature I thought I just had to do something to mark the start of the campaign. So today I finished a project that I've been meaning to do for a while, that is create a bit of a new habitat in my garden. It's really easy to do and if everyone did something similar it could make a big difference to our insect populations which are sadly struggling!

We've had a pile of cuttings lying around the garden for a while taking up a bits of space here and there and looking a bit untidy. Although that's not such a bad thing today I used them and with a bit of help from Dad we made a great log and stick pile which should be great for beetles, toads, frogs and hopefully some wasps, bees and other species will benefit from a place to hibernate or feed. The original idea was to build a hedgehog house in the middle of it, but I think we'll do that another time and put it in another place. Thinking about it it would have made the job of cleaning the hog house out very difficult.

Halfway there
So this was quite an easy thing to do really. All of the stuff was free and all of it had been collected from our garden as it was trimmings from bushes and trees that needed cutting back. We like the garden quite wild and full but every now and again it does have to be tamed a bit! All of the trimmings were gathered together and sorted into piles of different sizes. The only thing that wasn't from our garden were four pieces of wood that came from my grandparents house just up the road and they were recycled fence posts. They were just knocked into the ground a bit to make a frame.

All of the logs and sticks were then just piled in, the bigger stuff on the bottom and smaller stuff on the top. It's built directly on to the soil and it's placed under our Magnolia tree so that it won't dry out in the summer. Putting fallen leaves on top will help retain moisture too. I'll add to this as the leaves fall more. There you go, an easy DIY bug house.

The finished product!
Dead wood like this should support lots of insect life. Slugs and snails will no doubt like hiding in it too. Frogs and Toads should like the damp nooks and crannies too and hopefully will have lots of slugs to eat. If I'm lucky Wood Mice might take up home too. Then of course birds like the Wren and the Robin will probably have an explore for a meal or two.

I'll be watching with interest!

Hope you enjoyed,


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