Green your garden

wildflowers in garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden there are many things you can do to make a difference. As well as homes for all sorts of critters, our gardens can help us offset the effects of climate change by:
  • providing shade
  • helping reduce flooding
  • feeding pollinators
Here are some nature friendly actions you can try in your garden:
  • Avoid artificial grass – Artificial lawn is a no-go for a ‘green’ garden. Not only are high levels of energy and oil used to produce it, artificial grass also deprives insects and other ecosystems of a home. As it wears, it sheds small pieces of plastic that pollute the environment.
  • Create a greener driveway – If you need to park a car make the surface is permeable to encourage plants around it. Replace as much paving, concrete and gravel with wild grasses and flowers for bees and other bugs to enjoy. 
  • We’ve been trialling wildflower verges around Surrey Heath for the past few years, helping to increase biodiversity and brighten up the borough. 
  • Cut down on chemicals – Use natural repellents in your garden. Instead of slug pellets, try copper tape. Swap the weedkiller for a weeding knife.
  • Why waste water? – Swap your garden hose for a watering can and get a water butt to collect rainwater. You will save money on your water bill and conserve water in the summertime. Check out these water saving tips from South East Water. 
  • Don’t be too tidy – It may be tempting to keep your patch pristine but small pockets of ‘overgrowth’ or piles of cuttings, sticks or logs can make a huge difference. A small area for nettles could help save endangered species of butterflies!
  • Have a small yard, or live in a flat? – Grow vertically. Upcycle an old basin, bin, pair of wellies – just about anything. Tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and melons are all suited to growing vertically, maximising the amount you can grow.
  • No Garden? – Have you considered taking part in a community garden? Or applying for your own allotment? More detail on allotments.
The RSPB’s website gives further eco-friendly garden tips on how you can make your garden even greener, and how to make your garden more wildlife-friendly.
At SHBC, to help halt the decline in our local swift population we’ve installed swift boxes at Camberley Theatre. In conjunction with Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, we hope this will help encourage more of these birds to set up home in Surrey Heath.