Friday, 8 March 2019

Going peat-free and joining the Greener Gardening Revolution

Together with other fauna, butterflies will be feeling the effects of the ups-and-downs of our weather:
Futures Forum: Climate change >>> an early spring and upsetting the balance of nature

We can help them in other ways, as outlined in the latest newsletter from Butterfly Conservation:

So far March is living up to its reputation as a windy, wild month. Spring blew in on the back of storm Freya but if the 'in like a lion, out like a lamb' saying rings true, calmer weather and more butterflies are on the horizon. As soil thaws out the gardening season begins and with it our campaign to keep peat out of your flowerbeds. Please take a closer look at the contents of your bagged compost, it could be harming butterflies, moths and the wider environment.
Go Peat Free
Peat bogs are unique and precious wetlands that provide homes for some very special wildlife - including the Large Heath butterfly. They can also be beautiful and inspirational places, that benefit us by acting as a natural defence against climate change, absorbing vast amounts of carbon.

But we are digging up peat and destroying bogs for the sake of our own back gardens.

Did you know that multi-purpose compost and grow bags can have a peat content of 75% or more? This peat has been extracted from a bog that took ten thousand years to grow and is unlikely to ever recover.

Dig it: Seeds Of Change
If the arrival of spring has got your green fingers itching, March is the perfect time to get your gardening projects underway.

There's no sense in creating a butterfly-friendly garden that contributes to the destruction of the peatland habitat rare species rely on.

Although bags of peat-free compost can be found in most garden centres, a quick scan of some labels will show you that it's much more difficult to get hold of pre-potted plants that haven't been grown in peat.

In this month's gardening blog the Secret Gardener will help you get your peat-free garden started by growing your own plants from seed.

What To See In Spring
The spring blooms bursting forth signal the start of the butterfly season.

The mild spell many of us enjoyed at the end of February accelerated the emergence of Large, Small and Green-veined White, bringing the total number of butterflies now 'on the wing' to 12.

Although butterflies often take the title as the Heralds of Spring there are far more than 12 spring moths around. If you're keen to discover the great variety of moths we have in the UK now's a great time to start. 

Join In
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Find out how you can give butterflies and moths a future.
Handy tools to identify a butterfly or day-flying moth.
Species images: Large Heath - scotica form (John Knowler), Emperor Moth (Iain Leach).

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Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP, Tel: 01929 400 209 Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

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