Sunday, 30 November 2014

Building Biodiversity Gardens at ARU.

This year Transition Cambridge Nature Group are supporting a biodiversity gardens project at Anglia Ruskin University.  The university has seen an opportunity to provide homes for wildlife in their largely unused student accommodation gardens and the Nature Group are supporting the development of these gardens by providing a human labour force.

Saturday 29th November a group of us gathered at Collier Road, to transform 8 turfed and patio covered gardens in to biodiverse havens for flowers, insects, birds and hedgehogs.

We started by digging up the turf, to create bare ground that could then be sprinkled with wildflower seed. Seeds courtesy of the Grow Wild project.


 Then we rolled and piled the turf to create dry banks, which will provide the very important bare and dry soil that many insects need for burrowing and breeding.

Then we piled up some logs in the corner of each garden, to create the increasingly loved log pile which provides a home for all sorts of detritus eating invertebrates, like woodlice, and also an opportunity for fungi to thrive.

Finally Geoff, Housing Management Officer at ARU, who is running the project, dug some hedgehog tunnels under the fence between the gardens, to give hedgehogs the opportunity to move easily between gardens. Yey for Hedgehogs, and YEY for Geoff.

Nine of us, managed to biodiversify eight gardens in about 3 hours.  Brilliant work.  And such a simple couple of transformations to make, any of us could do this in our own garden to make a little corner for wildlife.

There will be more gardens to dig in the spring and in the new year we plan to have some workshops to show people how to build wildlife houses.  If you would like to get involved or keep up to date about any events on this theme, then send me your email address and I will add you to our 'Biodiversity Garden' mailing list.

Hope to see you at the garden days.

jadelaurencawthray [at]

1 comment:

  1. Could you tell us a bit about the hedgehog tunnels, Jade? How big do they need to be? Did Geoff use some pipe or anything like that?