Over 800 pre-paid ‘Nature Starter’ packages are being made available to communities across Wales. The packages will include native plants and seeds, peat-free compost, tools and even bug and bee hotels. Starter packages look to include all materials needed to create a community nature area.Keep Wales Tidy is offering support and advice on how to install the packages. Keep Wales Tidy says it will make it easy for almost any group to deliver a ‘Local Place for Nature’. This could be a community group, a place of worship or a residents’ association. These do not need a bank account or a constitution and there is no lengthy application form – all they need to do is find a place for nature, have permission of the landowner, get together a group of volunteers and apply. Keep Wales Tidy will book a date and bring all the required equipment. Of the 801 starter packages, there will be 267 of each type available:
- 267x Butterfly Gardens. These packages will include bright, aromatic, nectar-rich plants (e.g. lavender, honeysuckle), tools, compost, border/trellis, and a planting plan with a guidance document on how to manage the site in the long term.
- 267x Fruit Gardens. These packages will include fruit trees, soft fruit bushes, cane fruit and strawberries. They will also include native wildflower seeds so pollinator-friendly flowers can be grown, hand tools, compost, tree guards and netting.
- 267x Wildlife Gardens. These packages will include wildlife boxes, native wildflower seeds, climbing plants and trellis, compost and hand tools.
In addition to the Nature Starter packages, a further 66 ‘Development’ packages, will be made available for particularly ambitious communities. These will enable them to create larger-scale projects, such as a sustainable urban drainage scheme, a community food growing place or a nature space. The Keep Wales Tidy Starter and Development packages form part of a wider £5m Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ fund, committed to acquiring, restoring and enhancing nature ”on your doorstep”. Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths says: “The latest evidence shows biodiversity in Wales is declining. Since 1970, there is less wildlife and in fewer places. If we are going to tackle the nature crisis we need our ecosystems to be as resilient as possible. We all need to act and we need to act now.”