Insects, birds, amphibians, plants and animals are all under threat from the loss of their natural habitats. We have simply become far too neat and tidy in our gardens! You won’t find freshly mowed lawns or begonias anywhere wild in the UK; they are not part of British nature and are therefore of little benefit to the variety of insects and birds living here. But did you know that gardens in the UK provide more space for nature to thrive than all of the National Nature Reserves put together?

Leave it to Nature Projects

Glendevon #22022

Join 'Leave it to Nature'

Join our 'Leave it to Nature' initiative and leave an area in your garden to nature.

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We can all do our bit and really make a difference!

This is the plan:

    Which part of your garden you will grow wild and give back to nature
    This can be small; only 1m2 or as large as you’d like
  • REMEMBER which area
    Make clear to yourself and everyone in the household which part of the garden needs to be left alone, for example you can mark it with rope or stop mowing this particular part of your garden.
  • TAKE a picture
    Take a picture to show what the area looked like before you started as a reminder of how things have changed.
    In other words... do nothing!
    Just leave this area untouched and watch as nature reclaims it!
    at the varieties of new plants, insects and other animals you will attract
  • TAKE more pictures
    Take a picture every 3 months and upload them to your project
    This way you can see the progress of your rewilding project including all the different species you have spotted.
    To share your own rewilding project with others via social media, telling your neighbours and other interested parties about your experiences. A great opportunity to brag about any special insects or birds you have seen!


One word of caution!

All in all rewilding should be very simple and easy to do, BUT... due to invasive, non-native plants growing in the wild you may get these growing in your project corner too. This is the only time you may have to interfere:

Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed are very invasive plants and although you are not required by law to remove them from your garden, it is best for your own safety and for those of the native plants (which, after all, are the main reason for rewilding) to remove these plant ‘bullies’. Giant Hogweed in particular is very obnoxious and should be removed wearing gloves and goggles as the sap can cause blistering of the skin.


A few hints and tips

  • Feel free to remove non-native plants at first if you wish, especially the 3 plants mentioned above
    Although I believe that native plants will eventually win out, by removing these plant bullies new wild seeds have a better chance of germinating
  • Feel free to sow a wild flower mix at the start, but make sure the flower mix is indeed composed of native flowers. Various online shops sell flower mixes specifically for Scotland, like WildFlowerScotland and Seeds of Hope
  • Don’t be disheartened if you only seem to grow more grasses in the first year and no flowers, especially if you started with a ‘leave it be’ lawn.
    Grasses are also beneficial for wildlife; they provide shelter for many moths and the seeds are eaten by finches, so keep an eye out for goldfinches rampaging through the seed heads in autumn.
  • Also don’t be disheartened if your area seems to turn into a massive field of nettles. Again, remember the aim of this project: to provide a habitat for native wildlife and yes, nettles are extremely beneficial to British wildlife. Nettles provide food for peacock caterpillars and other butterflies and the seeds are eaten by birds.
  • If you live in Scotland, be prepared to see moss grow at first, but again, mosses are actually native and are of benefit to toads, frogs and salamanders - it provides them with a place to hide and it keeps them moist. Moss also prevents erosion of top soil, so it has wider benefits too.
  • You could leave a log lying in the ‘leave it be’ area at the start.
    Decomposing wood houses many small critters and the nutrients are of use to plants which grow nearby.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and look to see if any trees have self-seeded or get yourself a magnifying glass and marvel at the creepy crawlies living there.
    Remember, although the aim of the project is to ultimately provide a habitat for wildlife, you have to enjoy it too!

Every (native) plant benefits the wider community in its own unique way and every plant has its own story to tell - so just leave them be!