In recent years, there has been a worldwide increase in the amount of people living in city environments. The UK, for example, is predicted to increase from a 79% urban population in 1950 to 91.1% in 2020. With the rise of urbanisation, it’s important to make sure people have a chance to stay in touch with nature, especially given that research has shown exposure to nature is great for our busy, technology-addled brains. But how do these urban green spaces benefit the wildlife and nature that live within them?
We’re going to take a look at how inner-city areas can help to improve the health and wellbeing of inner-city animals and natural environments.
Improving habitats to increase pollination
News coverage has emphasised the importance of bees to our ecosystem, and rightly so! There is an abundance of fruit and vegetables that only grow as a result of pollination, so it’s vital that bees have sufficient means to continue pollinating. Unfortunately, their numbers have been decreasing at an alarming rate. The British Beekeeping Association has noted one of the main reasons for this decline is due to a loss of habitat.
Urban green areas provide bees and other insects, with the living space and food sources they need to survive. One of the great things about an urban park or garden is the ability for us as humans, to create the ideal environment for fertilisation to take place. For example, we can plant specific plants and trees to meet the needs of the pollinating insects. Doing this allows bees to continue the cross-pollination process, but also improves their quality of life and increases their chances of reproduction.
Preventing habitat fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation, a process that causes a large selection of animals to divide into smaller, more isolated groups, is extremely dangerous for wildlife. By splitting populations into smaller groups, their overall population is likely to decrease. This is particularly dangerous to species that are currently endangered.
In order to prevent this from happening, urban green spaces are being used as habitat corridors to encourage wildlife to reach other habitable areas. Various species can use urban greenery as a pathway to reach more of their own kind and, in doing so, improve their chances of increasing their population.
Protected living space
As our cities continue to expand, it is vital that we ensure we increase areas of urban green spaces, as part of the expansion. By continuing to grow our inner-city green spaces, whether that be community gardens, green roofs, or domestic gardens, we are providing greater opportunities for trees to grow and for wildlife to thrive.
Where wildlife might sometimes struggle in rural areas to find food and shelter, urban green spaces help alleviate this concern – providing sufficient access to both the animals and insects that live there. For instance, people are able to provide birdhouses in their local gardens to offer food, water, and nesting stations, something that might be harder to come by in rural areas.
Case study: London’s Hyde Park is home to the Hudson Memorial Bird Sanctuary, a stone memorial commemorating the writer and naturalist, William Hudson. This urban green area provides a refuge space for small birds within the much greater area covered by the park.
What do we do to help?
It’s crucial that we find sustainable ways of managing our inner-city green spaces to ensure that they can be used by wildlife in years to come. These spaces are vital to the long-term preservation of nature and need to be managed accordingly. Here at Weedingtech, we offer Foamstream as a safe and sustainable herbicide-free method of managing urban green spaces.
If you want to more information about our alternative methods of weed control and how they can be simply implemented in your local area, please contact us.