Saturday 22nd May 2010 is Biodiversity Day when our paper potters, stacks of old local newspapers from the Zoo Front Office (a press cuttings book is kept of all our media coverage) and big sack of Sutton’s sunflowers seeds will be out again (after a successful Wartime garden weekend earlier this month).
Visitors to Newquay Zoo www.newquayzoo.org.uk can pot up and take home a free wildlife gardening friendly sunflower during their visit.
There’s also a chance to read and see more about wildlife gardening, nest boxes and the work of the Wildlife Trusts in our Native Wildlife Centre room, housing our Harvest Mice and next to our Sand Lizard section. That’s several things we’ve done this year for 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
We were asked often during the wartime weekend activities just past where we got our clever paper pot makers from. The paper potters came from Hen and Hammock http://www.henandhammock.co.uk and are FSC wood at £9.90 each plus post. A paper potter is also available as part of a beautiful larger planter set of FSC Oak wooden garden tools at £33.90 including postage from the ever helpful Joe and Chris Fuller at Mit Hus. (Dear Father Christmas, if you read blogs, this is one very practical and beautiful present for the World War Zoo wartime zoo gardener’s Christmas wish list). http://www.mithus.co.uk/acatalog/Oak_Potting_Shed_Collection.html
Resolve to do one thing this year for biodiversity
We can all do at least one positive something for biodiversity this year. Like many groups such as our Zoo network of BIAZA http://www.biaza.org.uk , BIAZA members The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, The RHS and Wildlife Trusts, the World War Zoo gardens project at Newquay Zoo is supporting the UK’s 2010 International Year of Biodiversity campaign to Do One Thing. Find out more at www.biodiversityislife.net
If you’re not sure what to do, we have some suggestions below. And when you do it, tell your friends and family about it to encourage them to do something too. If you have a twitter account, don’t forget to follow @iybuk too and tell others what you’re doing.
Plant Conservation Day (on May 18th 2010) www.plantconservationday.org has lots more information about ways of getting involved http://bgci.org/plantconservationday. We’ll be planting some wartime varieties, heirloom or heritage varieties of vegetables and flowers in the wartime garden and try to save the seeds.
You can find out more about heirloom varieties and local varieties of plants and seeds for your area at:
the Postcode Plants Database (produced by Flora for Fauna) www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/plants-fungi/postcode-plants
· Heritage Seed Library (HDRA) run by Garden Organic http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk
· http://www.squidoo.com/heritageseeds for Seed Savers exchange, The Real Seed Catalogue etc, Emma Cooper’s Alternative Kitchen Garden blog http://coopette.com/akg . and other lists for the UK and around the world
There are many suggestions of things we can all do for International Year of Biodiversity at http://www.biodiversityislife.net/?q=do-one-thing and from the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust website www.wwt.org.uk and Wild about gardens website www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk :
1. plant some wildlife friendly mixtures of flowers
2. save your seeds or plant heirloom varieties
3. build a wildlife pond in the garden
4. install a water butt and connect the down pipe from the gutter to a water butt and connect the overflow of the water butt to the pond or garden
5. become a member of conservation organisation
6. volunteer at a conservation organisation
7. adopt an animal (or vegetable – see www.gardenorganic.org.uk)
8. remember wildlife or conservation organisations in your will
9. Don’t mow your lawn – an untidy garden encourages wildlife (we like this one a lot)
10. Dig up your lawn (like we did with one at Newquay Zoo) and plant veg or apply for an allotment from your local council, or turn over some of your garden to growing your own. Check out the BBC Dig In campaign for lots of advice and allotment links.
Happy digging! Contact us at the World War Zoo gardens project via comments on this blog.
Tags: 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, BGCI, Biodiversity Day, botanic gardens, dig for victory garden, enrichment, food waste, gardening, gardens, Newquay Zoo, salad, sustainability, wartime gardening, zoos