Stowmarket Eco Future Group

It’s No Mow May!
Spring has tentatively arrived and we are all, no doubt, looking forward to spending time with friends and families in our outdoor spaces. With thoughts of mowing the lawn, we are reminded of the ambitious Wild East mission: “making our region one of the biggest, best-connected and restored nature reserves in the world”. Wild East is asking people to pledge to return 20% of their green space back to nature, whether this be a small patch in your garden or acres of farmland. Visit their website for more information (www.wildeast.co.uk) and enjoy watching whatever wild species choose to grace your space.

The Stowmarket Rewilding Group was keen to spring into action as soon as
restrictions were lifted. We were delighted to be invited by Red Gables to sow a mixture of wildflower seeds to increase the biodiversity on the bank of the Garden Wall Walk. The photo shows the assistant manager, Colin Lay,
explaining how to prepare the soil.

On the subject of soil, it was Compost Awareness Week at the end of March. We took the opportunity to contact local garden centres and compost suppliers to request that they stop selling products containing peat. People have been using peat for thousands of years but, as with all natural resources, the exploitation of peatland is unsustainable. Habitats are being destroyed and carbon release is accelerating climate change. Ask your compost supplier for their policy on peat-based products and then head over to The Wildlife Trust website. Here they have a petition to support the ban on the sales of peat products in stores (www.wildlifetrusts.org/ban-sale-peat).

It can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle when small local action groups such as ours are up against big business or try to change policies to prevent ecocide. It was therefore really heartening to discover that there are actually hundreds of groups like us around the country in a recent newspaper article (Ros Coward, The Guardian, April 4). The national grassroots campaigns map mentioned in the article is continuing to grow and a grassroots campaign group will be established to support smaller local groups. Lots of small actions can make a big difference!

Three actions to take this month:
• Visit www.wildeast.co.uk and make a pledge.
• Sign The Wildlife Trust petition to ban the sale of peat-based products
• After No Mow May, take part in Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts survey
(22-31 May at www.plantlife.org.uk/everyflowercounts)

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