Natuurmonumenten (Natural Monuments) wants to see how much space Mother Nature gets in people’s gardens. They also want to motivate people to make their gardens greener.
They, therefore, recently, launched the National Garden Survey. Mariska Lont, a Natuurmonumenten forest ranger says, “In these strange times, people crave a natural environment. But at the same time, there’s hardly a blade of grass in many gardens. In the study, we ask people what their gardens look like now. Then we ask whether the participants want to ‘green’ their gardens next year.”
The answers will give the organisation an insight into the state of Dutch gardens. And whether people are prepared to create more space for greenery in their garden. Most people will be spending their summer holidays at home. What better time to give more space to nature in your garden?
The forest ranger continues, “The Netherlands is rich in different landscapes and home to some 28,000 species of animals. These include 200 species of breeding birds and 20,000 kinds of insects. Gardens also form a landscape where many animals live. Due to modern building styles, increasingly less space is available for this.”
Research has repeatedly shown that insects numbers are declining all over the world. In the Netherlands, more than half of the 360 species of wild bees are threatened. Variation’s essential to keep things in balance.
More than 56,000 hectares of land in the Netherlands is private garden, and it works the same way – the more variety, the better. “The design of gardens, certainly within the urban environment, is vital for biodiversity,” says Mariska.
Weeds – what weeds?
Many plants considered weeds are extremely important for insects. Leaving ‘weeds’, leaves and old wood lying around has another advantage. “You spend much less time cleaning up your garden. So you can spend more time enjoying everything that grows and blooms”.
Does this sound like something that interests you? The National Garden Survey takes about five minutes. You have the chance to win a ‘green’ garden makeover too. Please note: the questions are in Dutch.
Translation: Melinda Walraven