B E L I N D A A S H T O N N A T U R E C O N S U L T I N G
Hello and welcome to my website.
As a nature writer and environmental project innovator, I have a deep interest in wildlife and the preservation of wild places. I have worked over the years with many inspired people and organisations, and been involved in a diverse range of initiatives, each created to inspire closer connections to the world of wild nature.
Since 2010 I have been running the Wild Neighbours Urban Wildlife Initiative with the vision of raising awareness around the growing imperative to live more consciously and considerately alongside wildlife in our cities. As our wild lands diminish and once-open habitat is reduced, so birds and wildlife are left with little option but to continually crisscross between the natural and built environment.
Over time my work has slowly moved into the realm of wild gardening as a way to motivate a more intimate, on-your-doorstep connection to the world of wild nature.
In today’s busy world, I have come to see that one really only finds the time or energy to conserve that which we understand and connect to on an emotional level.
A wild garden can help empower that connection.
Together, living in harmony with wildlife and wild places…
“Not to hurt the creatures brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission, to be of service to them whenever they require it.”
As wild lands diminish, wild animals are being pushed to the very edge of their existence. As never before, the words of St Francis of Assisi are a gentle reminder that we can each do our own small part in reducing our human footprint and finding ways to live more considerately alongside the birds and small mammals that live close by.
Swathes of indigenous grasses planted amongst the shrubs; delicate scabiosa flowers pushing up on gangly stems; delicate ground cover creeping over a rocky path; and the garden fence tucked behind a hedge of spiky hawthorn. A wild garden is an eclectic mishmash of vegetation, a space with no defined edges, of cracks and crevices, of colourful flowers and wilful weeds, of seasonal changes that support the life cycle of the different plants, and of course patches of sand where birds can enjoy a dust bath.
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. (Chief Seattle)