Guest Blog by The Wildlife Trusts & Jordon’s Cereals – Leave it Wild

Guest Blog by The Wildlife Trusts & Jordon’s Cereals – Leave it Wild

 

Brits are urged to ‘leave it wild’ for International Biodiversity Day – Friday 22 May 2020.

 

Gardeners are told to put their feet up this bank holiday weekend to help wildlife.

· Over one third of Brits (37%) feel pressure to have the perfect garden during the lockdown.

· Which rises to nearly half (46%) of Gen Z gardeners.

· Over half of Brits (53%) would like to learn about how to increase wildlife in their garden.

We may feel closer to nature during lockdown but too much time spent finessing our gardens could be doing more harm than good. A new survey* commissioned by Jordans Cereals has found that half (49%) of us are gardening more during the lockdown and we are fencing, mowing, preening and trimming our way to ‘perfection’ with the nature in our gardens paying the price.

Over a third (33%) of people admit to being garden perfectionists during the lockdown. 49% per cent are weeding more than ever, with 30% spending extra time mowing the lawn and 21% have trimmed hedges and bushes back – all of which are important homes for wildlife in our gardens.

To mark International Biodiversity Day and to highlight this important issue, Jordans Cereals and The Wildlife Trusts have launched a ‘Leave it Wild’ campaign, calling on people to embrace nature and protect wildlife by leaving a wild patch in their garden or growing pollinator-friendly flowers on their balcony/window ledge.

Jordans’ farmers work in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts across the country to nurture wildlife and leave at least 10% of their land wild to boost biodiversity. Rather than reaching for the lawnmower or hedge trimmers, Brits are being encouraged to follow in the Jordans farmers’ footsteps this bank holiday weekend, leave it wild and engage in a spot of un-gardening as wildlife may have already made a home in the places people are clearing up.

Top five lockdown gardening jobs:

1. Weeding (49%)

2. Mowing the lawn (30%)

3. Planting fruit and veg (27%

4. Clearing out the shed (25%)

5. Pruning hedges (21%)

The UK’s renewed obsession with manicured lawns and perfectly coiffed topiary comes at a time when biodiversity in the UK is at risk – with a staggering one in seven native species facing extinction and more than half (56%) in decline. As a result, the UK is now one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.

But the nation is ready to help. Almost two thirds, 65% of Brits would support wildlife if they thought they could make a difference and over half (53%) of people surveyed would like to know more about how to increase wildlife in their garden.

Mia Hartwell, Sustainability manager at Jordans Cereals, said: “Over-gardening can actually do more harm than good, so Jordans and The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to #LeaveitWild and follow the lead of Jordans’ farmers, who commit 10% or more of their land for wildlife.

“Biodiversity supports all life on earth so we must do everything we can to protect it. Let’s take the pressure off ourselves to be perfect and celebrate natural beauty, not preened perfection!”

Dr Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, added: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted places in the world and yet we know how important it is, as so many people during lockdown are seeking comfort in nature, connecting to wild places and wildlife close to home. That’s why we’re keen to support Jordans’ #LeaveItWild; by leaving a corner of your garden a bit messy, not mowing the lawn or growing wildflowers in window box you can really help to provide food, shelter and stopping places for butterflies, bird and bees where you live – and by acting together we can start to bring wildlife back.”

“It’s also the perfect fit with our own nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, which kicks off on the June 1st and encourages everyone to do something wild every day of the month. Creating space for wildlife, or simply letting it create itself, is the perfect random act of wildness!”

Top 6 #LeaveItWild tips

1. Only cut the grass once a month with a ‘Mohican’ cut style trim to help bees, pollinators and butterflies.

2. Forget five-star hotels, build your bugs a hostel from old loo rolls, sticks and dry leaves.

3. Leave pollinator-friendly plants such as dandelions, nettles, daisies and buttercups to grow.

4. Cut a hole in your fence for hedgehogs and other small animals to get through.

5. Plant wildflowers or throw a bee bomb into your garden patch.

6. Get rid of any artificial grass, which creates a desert for wildlife.

People can get involved in the campaign by sharing their own #LeaveItWild patch to be in with a chance of winning a year’s supply of Jordans Cereals.

Case study: Jordans Cereals farmer Stephen Honeywood

Jordans cereal farmer Stephen Honeywood has dedicated 12% of his farm for wildlife and created wildlife-friendly habitats to attract rare species such as lapwings, brown hares, silver wash fritillary butterflies and barn owls.

“We’ve been farming here for over 100 years and are focused on protecting the environment for future generations. By creating diverse habitats and planting special crops, we have ensured that we can provide valuable food for birds in winter and early spring. Ten years ago, we rarely saw a barn owl and now we now have over 70 species of birds! You can have a big impact by gardening with wildlife in mind, so I urge people at home to join the #LeaveItWild campaign.”

Data

* The survey of 2,000 British adults was conducted by 3Gem between 8 – 10 May 2020 and balanced demographically by age, region and gender.

For more information, product samples and high-res images, please contact:

Jenny Briggs 07542 566437
jenny.briggs@greenhousepr.co.uk

Maria Bowler 07714358978
maria.bowler@greenhousepr.co.uk

About Jordans Cereals

Jordans Cereals is part of The Jordans, Dorset & Ryvita Company, whose parent company is Associated British Foods. Founded in 1972, Jordans Cereals make over 25 million packets of breakfast cereal a year and employ over 300 people in their hometown of Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

When it comes to provenance and sustainability, Jordans Cereals is committed to supporting British farming and continuously exploring new and safe ways to source ingredients, whilst taking the right measures to protect wildlife and biodiversity.

Jordans has been committed to protecting British wildlife for over 30 years. Since 2016, Jordans has worked with The Wildlife Trust, and their British farmers help look after their land for wildlife, helping threatened species survive and providing their year-round habitats for creatures to thrive.

Jordans Cereals works with 34 arable farms across the UK, pioneering a new model for sustainable farming, ensuring that at least 10% of farmers’ land is enhanced for biodiversity, in collaboration with The Wildlife Trusts, LEAF and The Prince’s Countryside Fund – this is known as the Jordans Farm Partnership.

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Panel Interview for Rob Hopkins at Transition Network

Panel Interview for Rob Hopkins at Transition Network

Panel Interview for Rob Hopkins at Transition Network
In May 2020 I did a panel interview with Rob Hoskins and Sam Lee.

It was based on ‘From What If to What Next’ which asked listeners to send in their ‘What If’ questions about the future we can create going forward from now, and then Rob found myself and Sam to discuss it, to explore what in their mind the future would be like if that thing were to come to be, what the benefits would be, and how we might get there.

The first one was “What if the birdsong were so loud it drowned out the traffic?” which I was talking about.

‘From What If to What Next’: Episode One

These we some of the reviews people wrote afterwards:
David wrote “As a bird lover, I enjoyed this podcast very much. One of the reasons why I joined XR is because I am so afraid that one day there will be no birdsong. I think that would lead me to die of a broken heart. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about the continuous birdsong in the background, but I loved it. I didn’t distract or disturb you at all. It was beautiful. Thank you for this podcast and everything you do.”

Rodrigue wrote “Perfect podcast to take a break during this stressful era of coronavirus, and climate breakdown, and and and… This podcast does not hide from reality but glances with the most intense eyes to the not even hidden gems of it. I’m reading a lot about the climate situation, leading to an emotional roller-coaster. When I’m at the bottom, I usually take a shot of Rob’s work to restore a bit of joy and hope. So, thank you for that :)”.

Keith wrote “I very much enjoyed this podcast. I must admit that at first glance I felt there were more pressing topics to discuss. But having just listened to your panel, I realized that birdsong is a universal signal of lush ecosystems. I have had numerous discussions with friends and Neighbours about how nice it has been to have clean air and quiet streets where birdsong seems to magically have returned during this lockdown. A very poignant topic and very well-timed. Cheers!”.

Jessica wrote, “Loved it: exactly what I needed to listen to today. I closed my eyes and imagined what my town would be like if bird song drowned out the traffic and it brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you :)”.

Greta wrote “Beautiful, thank you Rob. Mya’s work engaging young BME people is so important and inspiring and Sam’s description of nightingale song and sitting around a campfire sounds so appealing right now as I stand washing dishes in a suburban flat with a view of next door’s wall! I love the line at the end, equating getting to know nature as being like growing old with a lover. Great first podcast!” are urged to ‘leave it wild’ for International Biodiversity Day – Friday 22 May 2020.

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Being published in Red Sixty Seven – Curated by Kit Jewitt & Published by the BTO

Being published in Red Sixty Seven – Curated by Kit Jewitt & Published by the BTO

This book is the idea of Kit Jewitt

I am really proud to have written about Yellowhammer in this book, one that should not exist. Also thank you to Ben Woodhams for his beautiful artwork. Our bird populations are declining at speed. Lots of birds have stopped breeding in the UK and we must act to stop this. Thank you so much to Kit Jewitt for inviting me to contribute.

67 conservationists and artists wrote about the 67 birds on the UK red data birds with the money going back to the British Trust for Ornithology and RSPB. As one of the few recent young people to obtain a BTO bird ringing licence when turning 16 years old, I continue to be a BTO ringing member. This year I and Black2Nature are organising camps for VME young people in partnership with the RSPB and I hope to continue that partnership.

The 67 authors and artists include many of my birding friends including Nick Baker, Patrick Barkham, Anne Cleeves, Mark Cocker, David Darrell-Lambert, Mike Dilger, Ben Garrod, Ben Hoare, Dr Robert Lambert, Miranda Krestovnikoff, Luke Massey, Dara McAnulty, Lucy McRobert, Stephen Moss, Chris Packham and Lolo Williams.

In 2018 and 2019 I helped present a TV documentary for French and German broadcasters ARD/Arte “Missing – Where have all the birds gone” about the decline of farmland and grassland bird species. I interviewed several experts and it was shocking to find out about the decline of 40 million European birds in the last 30 years. This Covid-19 European lockdown has demonstrated how nature can come back if we give it space and how things must change in the future.

If you have not read it yet, please get a copy, and help save our birds which you can get at Red-67-the-boo

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