A Fun and effective way to encourage nature friendly gardening

Gardening for Wildlife booklet cover

The Gardening for Wildlife booklet is a collaborative creation by The Habitat Group. It took around a year to get it all written, gather the necessary pictures and drawings and get it laid out and ready for printing. It has been written by different members of The Habitat Group and the pictures were all taken in the South Hams.

Begin By Starting helped to facilitate this project by applying for a grant to cover the printing cost for the initial print run. This was granted by Cllr John McKay of South Hams District Council from his climate emergency ward fund – many thanks. The entirety of the grant went to the printers.

The booklet was then distributed for free by members of The Habitat Group to everyone who lives in the parishes of Dittisham, Blackawton, Cornworthy and Ashprington.

Gardening for Wildlife booklet pages

Since the initial print run there has been a lot of interest from other groups, and it has been printing by them and distributed in many other parishes. The Habitat Group has been helping these other groups to adapt the book so that, for example, the name of the local area appears on the front. The Habitat Group do not charge for this, but do encourage each group to make a donation to the Gara River Water Vole Reintroduction Project, which several have done – so that is another win-win.  

The booklet is of a high enough quality to not be thrown away, and has friendly, well-written, locally-relevant content – so it’s likely to be read and valued. Our gardens are bigger than all the national parks combined and so represent a massive opportunity to support wildlife.

Feedback about the booklet has been overwhelmingly positive. At a printing cost of around £1 per booklet or less then is an incredibly effective way to support wildlife, increase biodiversity, and improve knowledge and understanding.

If you’re interested in doing the same locally do contact us and we will put you in touch with the right person at The Habitat Group to take things further.   

2023 – an update to progress:

The funding from SHDC for the initial print-run made it possible to distribute to every resident in:

  • Ashprington, Blackawton, Cornworthy and Dittisham. (via The Habitat Group)

It has since been adapted, printed and made available in the following Parishes:

  • Staverton and Landscove. (Sustainable Staverton)
  • Bigbury. (Bigbury Net Zero)
  • Loddiswell.(Wild About Loddiswell)
  • Kingswear. (Kingswer Parish Council)
  • Bantham, Buckland and Thurlestone. (Bantham, Buckland and Thurlestone
    Sustainability Group)

Dartington Parish Council are due to print early 2023, a group in Totnes and South Brent are interested/considering, and there are other enquiries ongoing. 

Made by local people, to be locally-relevant, this booklet is a high value thing, unlikely to be thrown away. It is arguably one of THE most effective, and best value for money projects around. Feedback and response has been positive everywhere.