Urban Rewilding is the concept of restoring ecosystems in developed areas – be they urban or suburban. The term ‘Rewilding’ was coined in the 1990’s by conservationist Dave Foreman, so it is not a new idea, but has been gaining momentum and broadening its meaning and reach as we come to understand that even small changes can build resilience in our environment – and bring joy to our lives.
My interest in the idea of rewilding began with the knowledge that gardens may be the ‘arks’ for some of our rare plant species. Gardeners are a passionate, generous and motivated people – usually working quietly as individuals or in neighbourhoods and making thousands of small positive changes to their environments. As a result, suburban and urban gardens have the potential to be an oasis for biodiversity. For example, studies in Europe are showing that bee populations in cities are healthier than those in some rural areas, as city bees get to forage on a wide variety of flowering plants which provide food year-round (as opposed to single season monoculture crops).
What if our city and town gardens could be wilder places? Refuges for native animals, places where endangered plants can be nurtured and protected, green arks where we can learn how to adjust to a changing climate, oases for insects which will in turn pollinate our crops and feed our wild birds. Can we do all this and have beautiful gardens?
Yes! We can - and we are! My small contribution is habitat with a twist – quirky nesting boxes and roosts. An invitation to wild animals to stay, a gesture of welcome, a symbol of hope with a smile – HabitART.
Follow these links for more information on rewilding and take up the invitation to be a little wild in your garden; let things go to seed, tolerate a few weeds, celebrate a corner of chaos, share your plants with insects, learn to love the possum beheading your roses……. go wild!