Biodiversity in Somerset

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FdSc Landscape Design

Research Project
CU1.1/CU1.1.1

G. T Clement
4160 Words + tables, graphs and plans

Abstract
An investigation into biodiversity in local gardens. Discovering what biodiversity can be found, what should be present, what people want and how to improve the situation. A survey of local gardens, a questionnaire for landscape designers and a questionnaire of local residents along with results and analysis. Information on the promotion of biodiverse gardening, by whom and how well. The need for biodiversity and the implications and consequences of biodiversity loss, the current situation and improvements required. The future of biodiversity, with the latest plans and personal recommendations. A case study is included to establish the essential elements for a biodiverse local garden in the Mendip Region of Somerset complete with plans and planting lists.

Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Chapter 1. The essential elements for a biodiverse garden and biodiversity in Somerset.

Chapter 2. Case study

Chapter 3. Local survey

Chapter 4. Who is promoting biodiversity in gardens, how and how well?

Chapter 5. Who wants biodiversity in local gardens and what do they want?

Chapter 6. Implications and consequences of biodiversity loss.

Chapter 7. The future according to the authorities

Chapter 8. Conclusion

References

Appendix

Introduction
Biodiversity is a ‘hot’ topic. A modern term that is often used and less often understood. According to The Oxford English Dictionary it means: ‘the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.’ This research sets out to:

* Establish the essential elements for a biodiverse garden, with specifics to the Mendip region of Somerset. * To use my garden as a case study
* To discover what levels of biodiversity exist in local gardens? * To discover who is promoting biodiversity?
* Who wants biodiversity?
* What can do done to improve the situation if it needs improving? * What are the implications of a lack of biodiversity on the local environment? * What does the future hold?
* Personal recommendations and conclusions.
With the use of primary and secondary research information will be gathered, collated and analysed in order to give comprehensive answers to the above questions. Drawings, plans, tables and graphs will be used for ease of understanding where appropriate.

Chapter 1.
The essential elements for a biodiverse garden.
There is a huge amount of information available on biodiversity and wildlife gardening, on the internet, in the press, from Journals, pamphlets and books and from National and Local Government. I have reviewed a selection of these resources in order to come up with comprehensive lists of the features, plants and trees that are best utilised to create a biodiverse garden. Resources have also been used to create advice for creating and managing a biodiverse garden and for specific information for the Mendip region of Somerset.

Biodiversity in Somerset.
Local biodiversity is facing increasing problems with higher temperatures, sea levels rising, land use change and an increased rate of new development. However there is a greater awareness of local biodiversity and the need to care for it with various schemes such as the creation of the Avalon marshes wetland near Glastonbury. Somerset contains a great variety of habitats which makes it one of the most biologically diverse and valuable areas for conservation in the UK. Somerset is home to seven species threatened on a global scale, including the large blue butterfly and 200 species on the Uk Biodiversity Action Plan list of ‘Priority species’ including the otter, water vole and hairy click beetle. However in the thirty six pages of the Biodiversity Action Plan no mention is made of private gardens.

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