The community green space down at Craignure is currently a frenzy of flowers and is brimming with bees, butterflies and biodiversity! There are pathways going through this flower rich meadow so people can still easily access the picnic benches and marvel at the magic all around them. Not only is this wildlife haven very pleasing on the eye, there are other essential reasons to leave spaces like this for nature to flourish...
Due to human pressures / activities we have lost 50% of all of our wildlife biomass since 1970! We have also lost 97% of flower rich meadows since the 1930s. If all of our councils left nature rich areas in urban sites, it would add up to a huge area of vital habitat nationwide enabling the essential nature recovery of insects, wild flowers, birds etc.
We are currently living through the sixth mass extinction event on this planet in the last 550 million years. Scientific data shows that we are cruising towards an uninhabitable planet if the current declines / climate trends continue. Grasslands absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) during the growth of plants and store it in different tissues.
Green spaces are the lungs of our towns and cities as they contribute to improving people's physical and mental health. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
Helping us to reconnect with nature - More flower rich areas in urban green spaces can help bring people closer to nature and help us understand that we are a part of nature and not separate from it. Healthy nature equals healthy humans and three quarters of the world's flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. More than 3,500 species of native bees help increase crop yields. The little things that run this planet need our help!
Reducing mowing in green spaces will decrease noise pollution and again have a positive benefit on our mental and physical well being along with helping birds to better communicate and advertise territories. Saying no to the mow will save on petrol costs and also open up time for staff to focus on other important tasks like road maintenance and removal of non native roadside species like Japanese Knotweed.
Other exciting work opportunities could include planting native wild flowers on community green spaces including species like Yellow Rattle which parasitises/suppresses grasses and enables an increase in floral diversity.