Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Hot Topic- Blue Planet II, beautiful or devastating?

Plastic pollution has reached the very depths of our oceans, according to data released on behalf of Sky Ocean Rescue. A team led by scientists at Newcastle University has sampled organisms found in six of the world’s deepest ocean trenches.” Taken from skynews.com

In wake of the widely praised Blue Planet II, the topic of pollution in the Ocean and the amount of plastic being found in the deepest layers is a global concern. Plastic is being found inside the stomachs of many creatures and recently it was broadcasted a 5 mile stretch of plastic and waste was found floating in the Caribbean. This just shows the effect we are having on our eco-system with the use of plastic and how it is reaching the most remote and secluded areas, meaning the inhabitants of said areas are digesting materials that are foreign to their digestive systems.

 

“An estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic now litters the oceans, with more than 5 trillion plastic pieces – weighing over 250,000 tonnes – currently floating on the surface.” Taken from skynews.com

We are consciously told and informed about the effects pollution has on a numerous factors. The health of our Oceans, the air quality we are living in, welfare for wildlife, greenhouse gas contribution, just to name a few. Blue Planet II has shown us breath taking footage of never seen before creatures but it also highlights the deteriorating habitats that they live in,
“The health of our oceans is under threat. They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history.” David Attenborough, Blue Planet II. I think the most disheartening factor is that all mentioned effects of pollution have one thing in common- they are caused by Humans.

 

Ocean pollution is a hot topic as of late and it is reassuring to see it was one of the main topics discussed in the budget that was announced this week. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce in next week’s budget a “call for evidence” on how taxes or other charges on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging could reduce the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life, the Treasury has said.” Taken from theguardian.com. This proposal was greatly accepted and commended by wildlife groups. This is in line with the 5p single carrier bag charge that was introduced 2 years ago, which has resulted in a 85% reduction in their use in the first 6 months of being implemented. One of the biggest contributions to plastic pollution is coffee cups. Most coffee cups are lined with a layer of polyethylene which makes the cup waterproof, but makes it difficult for the cup to be effectively recycled, because it can’t be easily separated. Taken from sciencealaert.com The chancellor proposes a ‘deposit return scheme’.

Tisha Brown is an Oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK and stated that, “Ocean plastic pollution is a global emergency, it is everywhere from the Arctic Ocean at top of the world to the Marianas trench at the bottom of the Pacific. It’s in whales, turtles and 90% of sea birds, and it’s been found in our salt, our tap water and even our beer.”

Fashion brands are also doing their part to help in this global emergency. Adidas have recently brought out a pair of trainers that are made entirely from Ocean plastic and there is an eyewear company called Sea2See Eyewear that is making boutique spectacles from plastic pollution.

“Sea2See employs local fishermen to collect the plastic that accumulates in trawler nets, which is then divided into what can be made into eyewear and what can be sold to other companies which recycle. It takes 10kg of plastic to make one pair of glasses…which given that there’s more than 8 million tonnes of the stuff being thrown into the ocean every year, is a pretty sustainable business model.”

Blue Planet II has done more than just introduce us to the weird and wonderful, viewers have had a front row seat to the damage we are causing to marine life and the devastating effects it is having on the creatures that call the ocean their home. We just hope that with all the new campaigns and legislation’s that are soon the be put into place, we are able to clean up the Oceans and restore habitats before it is too late.

Blue Planet II is shown Sundays on BBC1 at 8pm.

Fore more information, please see graphics below and visit these organisations:
Greenpeace
BBC Blue Planet II  
Plastic Oceans
WWF
Sea2see Eyewear

 

Plant For A Spring Spectacle

As we turn our backs on winter it’s time to focus on spring and if like me, you’re eager to see new leaf growth, flowers and fruits, Hedges Direct have a great selection of plants with spring interest to satisfy our impatience.

For those wanting features as soon as possible, species such as Blackthorn, Flowering Currant and Forsythia boast beautiful flowers early in the season, so early that new leaves haven’t started to appear yet! Gorse also produce early spring flowers, but being evergreen, its buttery yellow flowers stand out next to the spiky green leaves that remain year round.

The UK didn’t have a white Christmas but you can bring this stunning colour to your garden in spring as Dog Wood, Hawthorn, Pyracantha, Viburnum lantana, June Berry and Wild Cherry, all produce white flowers in different shapes and sizes.

Alternatively, brightly coloured flowers appear on Hypericum, Berberis, Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, Weigela and Potentilla. To get the most of your flowering plants, there are some great tips on pruning spring flowering shrubs in this short video from Gardener’s World Magazine.

You can also access fantastic spring colour with the long awaited new growth of Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, which offers beautiful displays of red glossy leaves.

Christen the season with catkins! These long, hanging fruits dangle from the branches of Alder, Hazel, Hornbeam and Willow, attracting a range of British birds and other wildlife to your garden.

The species mentioned above are just a handful of spring spectacles. We’ve included a list of our entire collection of plants that offer fantastic interest in spring below:

 

Love Your Wild Garden 2015

If you caught last night’s special episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden, aptly named Love Your Wild Garden, you will have seen Alan and the team visit Keech Hospice in Luton to create a stunning wildlife garden for the patients to enjoy.

With a 500m plot to transform, Alan and the team certainly had a challenge on their hands, but not one to shy away from hard work, Alan immersed himself in everything wildlife friendly, including a huge pond and insect hotels, to create a garden alive with the sound of buzzing bees and twittering birds.

Using a variety of bee friendly plants from our sister company, Bee Friendly Garden plants, Alan created huge circular gabions that would be a thriving hub of insect activity for both the adults and the children at the hospice to enjoy.

Bee friendly garden plantsBee friendly garden plants on LYG

Alan then used our instant mixed native hedging to create a boundary along the garden to give shelter from the wind. Instant hedging is a great way to achieve an established hedge unit without waiting for the plants to mature and native hedging is home to a huge variety of Britain’s wildlife species, providing both shelter and food year round.

instant mixed native hedginginstant hedging on ove your garden

Many people believe that a wildlife friendly garden has to be filled with brambles, weeds and nettles, however Alan proves that a garden bursting with colour, fragrance and ornamental value is just as attractive to wildlife as it is to us.

The Love Your Garden team designed this garden with nature in mind and managed to create an outdoor space for the patients of Keech Hospice to enjoy, finding tranquillity as they immerse themselves in the presence of nature.

If you’re thinking of undertaking your own garden makeover, enter our #‎HDGetTheLook competition for the chance to win vouchers to help you on your way.

Watch the full wildlife special and catch up on any other episodes from this series of Love Your Garden that you may have missed on ITV player.

The benefits of Hedgerows

Hedgerows and hedges are an important feature in the British landscape and have been around for centuries, planted to divide the land into different fields and pens; marking the boundaries of farms and parishes and controlling livestock. Nowadays, hedges offer food and shelter for wildlife, provide historical and cultural links to the past and still act as boundaries and screens. However, recently they have become under threat from removal and poor management.

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Hedging plants are important for both humans and wildlife. In terms of humans, hedgerows support the healthy functioning of the ecosystems around us by regulating things such as air quality, water purification and pollination. Hedgerows, like all plants and trees, help to manage air quality through the production of oxygen and removal of harmful gases. This is especially important in urban areas where more pollutant gases are released into the atmosphere. Hedges that act as a barrier between farms and fields, not only help to control livestock, but can reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilisers and eroded soils from the fields reaching water streams. When planted densely, hedgerows can also lessen the impacts of flooding by increasing infiltration rates and slowing water flows.

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British w4439196300_83c7e616e7_zildlife benefits hugely from hedgerows, and with an estimated 73 million hedges and park trees across our landscape, it’s no surprise that they are the most widespread semi-natural habitat in the UK, providing food and shelter for a large variety of different invertebrates, birds and mammals. The loss of hedgerow trees, and lack of future management and replacement, may lead to a decline in certain wildlife if they cannot find flowers, berries and nuts to feed on or habitats to live in. As well as shelter and food, hedges also provide corridors for certain wildlife, su12672946815_b7df8b8cd2_zch as hedgehogs and mice, to safely move through landscapes from one habitat to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woodland Trust is currently working to implement schemes and solutions to stop the decline in hedgerows and manage future growth more sustainably. Without this, there is the possibility of Britain losing a large part of its history and culture, and a huge number of wildlife losing both their homes and food supply.