By Philip Le Masurier

There has been a lot in the media about Biodiversity and the failure to meet the targets set out by the UK government in recent years.  In fact, by most measures, the amount of wildlife and its diversity continue to decline and probably as quickly as before.

And God said, “let the land produce living creatures according to their kind. . . . .and it was so. . . . .and God saw that it was good.”  What can I do to be in tune with what God intended?  Expose more of my land to natural processes by reducing paved areas and decking.  Allow more variety in my lawn by allowing weeds to grow and flower.  Why do I need to use a weed killer in a place where people walkabout?  If I cut the grass a little less often it would allow some useful wild plants to flower for some of the time.  Daisies, White Clover, Self-heal would provide nectar and pollen for insects.

Some churches are acting along similar lines.  Christ Church, Upper Armley is trying to reduce the frequency of grass cutting.  It is also trying to convert a South-facing slope into a wildflower meadow.  This would require one cut a year in the early Autumn, with a rake-off and composting of the cuttings to keep the nutrient level down.  To help reduce the strength of the grass Yellow Rattle, a common grass parasite is being sown.  The existing wildflowers should increase with this reduced management. Yarrow, White Clover, Common Ragwort, Self-heal, Ribwort Plantain, Lesser Trefoil, three types of Buttercup, Cow Parsley are all present.

There is plenty more scope for making my garden and my church grounds and public open spaces more wild, natural, and better for people and wildlife.

Written by: Philip Le Masurier