Gardening with Nature

We met at 3pm on Thursday 26th January 2023 for talks and discussion on the importance of nature in gardening, including what we can do to improve gardens for wildlife and biodiversity and research taking place into the biodiversity value of gardens and other green spaces. Speakers were Dr Mark Goddard (urban ecologist, Wildlife Gardening Forum trustee and Assistant Professor at Northumbria University), Gemma Golding (RHS Senior Ecologist), Angela Palmerton (independent garden consultant specialising in gardening with nature), Suzi Turner (Co-Deputy Head Gardener at Knepp Castle and Estate) and Rebecca Slack (Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre).

Topics included the rewilding of Knepp Gardens including the ongoing monitoring of all the approaches being trialled such as the use of sand mulches; the myths and opportunities of wildlife and biodiversity in gardens including a look at the role of non-natives in providing food and resources to native fauna; the need to engage with visitors and clients to highlight why certain measures are really useful for nature but might not appeal to those used to very tidy gardens; and the need to survey and monitor what is found in our gardens and to see what impact different measures have on wildlife.

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