Julie Harrision’s Editorial – Febuary 2022

Wildlife is my passion. Moving to Kibworth eight years ago a big priority for us was access to nature. We are so fortunate to live in an area that is close to beautiful countryside, being only a few minutes’ walk away from peaceful lanes.

I love watching the birds that visit our garden and we consider carefully what we plant to draw in the bees and butterflies. Our RSPB Big Garden birdwatch counted fourteen species and dozens of birds in an hour. Our garden also welcomes hedgehogs, squirrels, frogs, newts and dragonflies.

You have to wonder whether there is more we can be doing individually or as a community to help the environment around us. We have a new small orchard in the village, Kibworth Community Orchard, and it has inspired neighbours to plant fruit trees. As fruit trees age quickly, they create the perfect habitats for invertebrates and birds.

Small things can make such a difference. Even a window box or plant pot with bee-friendly flowers helps. Just cutting holes at the base of your fences with neighbours creates highways for hedgehogs. Being mindful about outdoor lights reduces the amount of light pollution that disturbs wildlife and disrupts our sleep patterns too.

We are seeing a lot of new development across the UK. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all developers work to create an environment that is beneficial to people and wildlife? They could plant wildlife friendly native trees and hedges and incorporate bat and bird boxes into the builds. Brighton and Hove Council have made it compulsory for new builds to have bee bricks, what a lovely idea.

I know not everyone cares as much about wildlife, there are so many other things in life to be concerned about, but we’ve all heard about the benefits of nature to our own well-being. A walk in the fresh air, surrounded by greenery, listening to the sound of birdsong, is therapy for the soul.

During the last two years many people have learnt to reconnect with nature, to actually notice what is around them. Nature has helped so many of us get through the pandemic, maybe we can help nature too?

Julie Harrison( Online editorial and Sunday layup team)