This year, we invite you to notice and support the biodiversity that surrounds us. Biodiversity loss is visible everywhere and protected areas are no longer enough to conserve nature. This is how nature conservation for everyone is a conscious step that contributes to the conservation of Estonian species and their habitats.
As the name says, nature conservation starts with every one of us. It is possible to start in a variety of ways, even by creating a small pond on your plot, placing a small box of domestic flowers or herbs on your balcony, leaving some patches unmowed around your house so that meadow flowers could blossom and insects could pollinate them. Nature conservation for everyone is most effective when biodiversity needs are noticed by as many as possible.
Recommendations to support biodiversity:
- Use and grow indigenous plants: sow meadow plants and herbs, plant trees and shrubs.
- Provide shelter and habitats for insects in the form of an insect hotel.
- Build nest boxes for birds. Tutorials can be found on the website of the Estonian Ornithological Society.
- Consider what to do with the leaves and other plant material raked together and otherwise gathered during the collective action. Instead of burning, we recommend composting them or leaving them in a garden corner to provide a habitat for hedgehogs, for example.
- Build stone fences to provide a habitat for insects, mosses, and lichens.
Nature conservation for everyone – the ecologist Aveliina Helm recommends:
There are many opportunities to support biodiversity in both rural and urban areas. Here are a few of suggestions and ideas.
- In some places, make hay instead of mowing the lawn.
- Favour patches of wild species with an abundance of flowers and try to gradually expand them.
- Preserve patches important for insects and birds – diverse shrubs, old trees and tree stands, rotting wood, fallen trees, standing dead trees. Some rather surprising places also favour diversity: for example, old foundations, dilapidated and abandoned sheds, and everything else that some deem unsightly and unmaintained, but which can be a desirable habitat for many inhabitants of the wild.
- If you live in a city or in a new settlement where there is little in the way of natural patches and “mess”, install insect hostels and sow wild flowerbeds full of herbs and various meadow flowers.
- Create shrubberies and pick out the trees you never plan to fell. Make sure that their surroundings are not too orderly.
- Make sure that there
is enough food and nesting sites for the pollinators. The Food will come
from the flowering areas, while the nests are provided by places with the biggest
possible structural variation. Each species has a preference – some nest on
bare gravel banks, some in clay walls or within reeds, some in sedge sods
or in a pile of branches.
And sometimes it’s best to do nothing – not ‘let’s do it’, but ‘let’s do less’! Let the log lie there, let the grass overgrow a little, let the dandelions and goutweeds expand a bit. Let us allow our eyes to get used to it and to see beauty in eye to accept it and see beauty in the messy and in the wild. Where there’s life, there’s beauty.