Compass – Supporting Biodiversity in Domestic and Commercial Gardens
Biodiversity – or biological diversity – is one of the hottest topics currently facing mankind. It is defined either as the variety of life found either in a specific place, or on the planet as a whole.
However, human consumption is putting a lot of pressure on nature’s fragile ecosystems; studies by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have shown that in the years between 1970 and 2018 global populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians have declined by an average of 60%. This threatens not just these individual species but human life too, because biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, and pest control.
Over the last few years, Compass Garden and Landscape Design have been proud to put biodiversity at the forefront of our work, through a focus on sustainable practices in both our hard and soft-landscaping projects. Here are some of the ways in which we are helping to make our commercial and domestic garden design projects – in Bristol, Bath and across Somerset and Wiltshire – as sustainable as possible.
Re-using and Recycling Materials
Whenever you buy something new, you are depleting the Earth’s resources – so the best way of protecting the planet is to make sure you use, and re-use, materials for as long as possible. This may mean finding another purpose for it (upcycling), or stripping something back to its bare essentials, which makes it easier for others to recycle.
When designing gardens and arranging builds, Compass Garden and Landscape Design look for ways to re-use or re-purpose existing features of the garden. Recent projects have included the use of reclaimed bricks, re-conditioned Oak battens and the conversion of an old cattle trough into a stunning water feature.
Plant, Plant and Plant
Plants in domestic and commercial gardens are a vital resource for other forms of wildlife – they provide food, shelter and breeding sites for a wide range of animals. Using plant species which are native to the locality can boost the local population of birds and insects.
At Compass, our designs always seek to dramatically increase the volume of planting in a space, through the planning and selection of a wide range of wildlife-friendly plants that provide interest both for humans and animals throughout the year. The inclusion of wildflower meadows has become a common feature of several recent large-scale designs, as has the creation of habitats for a wide range of wildlife.
Avoiding the Use of Harmful Fertilisers
Using fertilisers and other artificial additives to improve the soil has been shown to have harmful effects on the local habitat. This is because the extra nutrients they provide allow faster-growing plants to survive and flourish, and they effectively block out the sunlight for smaller, more slow-growing species.
At Compass we seek to create maintenance scenarios where the use of harmful chemical fertilisers or pesticides are unnecessary, through a careful focus on planting combinations, soil conditions and the use of natural mulches.
Other Smaller Touches
A water feature, such as a pond, can provide a breeding place for frogs, toads and newts, as well as encouraging more birds into your garden; they’ll happily use it for drinking and bathing.
If you have space, make sure you have at least one tree in your garden. As well as providing a focal point for both yourselves and the local wildlife, trees also act as carbon sinks, which means they absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce, so they do their own small bit to combat the problem of global warming.
Compass Garden and Landscape Design are highly experienced in making trees and water features key components of any commercial or domestic garden redesign.
Biodiverse Garden Design from Compass
If you are interested in creating a garden which is rich in biodiversity, then Compass Garden and Landscape Design will be able to help. After an initial meeting, we’ll carry out a full garden survey and produce some concept sketches for you. We’ll then have a further meeting so we can fine tune the project, and then create a full garden design for you – with 3D drawings if required.
We can then put you in touch with an approved contractor, and we will continue to liaise with both them and you to ensure that the work is being carried out in line with your wishes and requirements.
We also provide a planting consultancy service which means can recommend which varieties of flowers, shrubs or trees are likely to flourish in your soil and climate, whether you live in Bath, Bristol, Bradford on Avon, or elsewhere in the South or South-West of England.
Our network of tried and trusted local contractors means you can enjoy sustainable hard landscaping features which will form an integral part of your overall garden design. If you would like to know more, you can reach us on 01225 949581 or click on this link to find our contacts page.