Britain’s gardeners are being asked to ease off on the mowing, pruning and weeding to mark International Biodiversity Day on Friday.
As more and more people are spending time getting their gardens looking ship shape during the coronavirus lockdown, the Wildlife Trusts has launched its “Leave it Wild” campaign.
Those lucky enough to have outdoor space are urged to leave a patch untouched, while container gardeners are being asked to grow butterfly and bee-friendly flowers on their balcony or window ledge.
Working with Jordans Cereals, the Wildlife Trusts is hoping to help Britons learn what they can do to support insect life and biodiversity, as well as showing the harm excessive garden manicuring can do.
A survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Jordans in early May found over a third felt under pressure to have the perfect garden.
Nearly 50% are weeding more, 30% are spending more time mowing the lawn, while 21% said they had trimmed hedges and bushes back.
Despite the urge to keep things neat and tidy, 53% of respondents said they would like to learn how to increase wildlife in their gardens.
Jordans is calling for more people to follow the example set by its farmers, who, working with the Wildlife Trusts, leave at least 10% of their land wild to boost biodiversity.
Dr Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, added: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted places in the world and yet we know how important it is, as so many people during lockdown are seeking comfort in nature, connecting to wild places and wildlife close to home.
“That’s why we’re keen to support Jordans’ #LeaveItWild – by leaving a corner of your garden a bit messy, not mowing the lawn or growing wildflowers in window boxes you can really help to provide food, shelter and stopping places for butterflies, birds and bees where you live – and by acting together we can start to bring wildlife back.”
Mia Hartwell, sustainability manager at Jordans Cereals, said: “Biodiversity supports all life on Earth so we must do everything we can to protect it.
“Let’s take the pressure off ourselves to be perfect and celebrate natural beauty, not preened perfection!”