As the world grows ever more environmentally conscious, many homeowners and tenants are wondering what they can do to help tip the scales back in nature’s favour. One recent trend that may offer the answer is that of rewilding.
The concept of rewilding is one that has been connected with larger agricultural and wildlife preservation sites for some time, where natural habitats are restored to promote the rekindling of a natural ecosystem that can be sustained without human involvement. In recent times, though, the benefit of small-scale rewilding in personal yards has been gaining more and more traction.
The ultimate goal with any rewilding process is to help re-establish the natural ecosystems that should exist in your surroundings. The process, when done right, helps to increase indigenous flora growth and animal/insect life activity.
The best part is, it doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything at all).
The threat of non-indigenous plant life
When starting the rewilding journey, you should assess the plant life that grows in your yard, removing all non-indigenous plants. The greatest danger that non-indigenous plant life poses is that it often does not provide the necessary food source to bird and insect life that live in the region.
Now you may be thinking, “But isn’t it good that insects aren’t infesting my yard?” And while creepy crawlers may not be your first choice when it comes to the lifeforms you want to inhabit your yard, it is important to remember that these insects are a vital part of any ecosystem. They are the primary food source for many birds and animals and play a large role in the lifecycle of plants (assisting with everything from pollination to decomposition).
Providing basic nutrition
If the plant life in your yard is sparse, do some research to find out which wildflowers and shrubs are indigenous to your area. By simply planting a few planters of wildflowers, something that can be done even in upper-story apartments, you will be providing bees and butterflies with a valuable source of nutrition.
Another addition that you can consider is that of bird feeders and bird baths. Bird feeders offer birds easy access to nutrition and do not interfere with their natural dietary routines, contrary to what many may think. Bird baths, on the other hand, provide not only birds but also insects such as butterflies with the most important part of any habitable environment: fresh water. Bird baths should be cleaned regularly, though, ensuring that the water is always fresh. While the biggest reason for regular cleaning is to avoid the breeding of insects such as mosquitos, no one can deny how good a gulp of fresh water is on a hot day – so, why not provide it to the wildlife in your region?
Creating a small-scale ecosystem
The final factor may be the most important, something that author Jeff VanderMeer calls “benign neglect”. The truth is that nature flourishes better when people do not get involved. To endorse the re-establishment of a natural ecosystem, homeowners and tenants should let nature take its course. But not mowing your lawn and leaving fallen leaves on the ground may not be a possibility for everyone, and may not be quite the aesthetic feel you’re going for. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. By cordoning off specific sections in your yard where plant, insect, and animal life can take root and do as they please, you’ll be helping to create small-scale ecosystems that help tip the scales back in Mother Nature’s favour.
You don’t need a forest for a backyard or hectares of land to make a difference. The smallest yards, and even balconies of upper-story apartments, can contribute towards the rewilding revolution.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).