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Top tips for a biodiverse garden from the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. Get wild and messy! Pick the best plants; grow fragrant flowers; allow the butterfly-loving plants to grow; let trees and shrubs thrive; add some wildlife-friendly extras; use compost.

Encourage wildlife to your garden – Royal Horticultural Society. Here are a few small changes you could make to the way you manage your garden that can bring major benefits for the creatures that call it home: Choosing the right flowers; grow a mix of trees and shrubs; look after mature trees; add water; leave a pile of dead wood in a shady spot; compost, compost, compost; provide food and water for birds all year; don’t be too tidy; allow a patch of grass to grow longer; garden sustainably to help protect wildlife; scatter wildflower seeds to create a meadowland; make a rock garden. See RHS Plants for Pollinators.

British Soil Society Video – Zoom into Soil: A Successful Garden Above and Below Ground.

Green Walls. See the RHS Site: At their most simple, green walls can just be a planting of wall shrubs and climbers (direct greening). A cladding made from plants such as pyracantha or ceanothus can provide many of the benefits offered by more complex systems. At the other extreme are engineered, planting systems (indirect greening and living wall systems). See also the Ideal Homes site for ideas.

Local Initiatives:

Cholsey Wildlife Garden Challenge. The aim of the Challenge is to encourage and help Cholsey people to make changes to encourage wildlife in their gardens – and earn certificates to reward their efforts!   By making changes to help wildlife you earn points, and with enough points you can earn certificates for back gardens, patio gardens and balcony gardens, in Green, Silver and Gold achievement levels. Gold level gardens can qualify for a outdoor plaque to display their quality for wildlife. ‘We have created simple and easy forms for you to record what you have done for wildlife in your garden. There are forms for back gardens, patio gardens and balcony gardens.’

Blewbury Chalk Stream Community. Blewbury Chalk Stream Community is a volunteer group of scientists and lay people who, through community events and working with those who live by our waterways, are aiming to enhance life in and around our streams and the Cleve.

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