Recent announcements from the R.H.S. have made claims that 1 in 5 of wild plant species are in danger of extinction.
We believe that almost every right thinking person would find this horrific and would like to help stop this trend.
The reality is, that plant species have not become extinct at this rate at any time in the history of the world.
Even during the Cambrian extinction and the extinction of the dinosaurs the world did not loose plant species at this rate.
If the speed of extinctions is not slowed, the human race faces the same fate as that of the dinosaurs, none of us want
that for our children, or even possably for ourselves.
So what can we, as individuals, do to help.
Apart from trying to live a greener lifestyle, we can ensure that any timber we buy comes from sustainable sources.
For example, trees from the rain forests in Hawaii are being harvested in a manner which preseves the forest, and its
biodiversity, yet is even more cost effective than the 'grab everything you can' methods being adopted in most rain
We can buy locally produced food, organically produced, (or produced in an environmentally friendly way), and
reject genetically modified food products. ( the modification in these foodstuffs, frequently being one of resistance to
specific weed killers, so that the quality or quantity of the product is not improved but the profits on the sale of
certain weedkillers is)
Even more worrying, some GM products have been linked to cancers in rats,
and food manufacturers do not have to declare the prescence of GM derived material in human foodstuffs
You may not be aware, but most of the U.K. is within a 'temperate rain forest'....already mainly destroyed in the last
One of the greatest potential effects of gardens in the U.K. is the restoration of, and increase in the biodiversity lost
during that process.
If you grow a range of plants, which is different from that of your neighbours, you can have a beneficial effect on the
environment, as well as giving you a great garden.
If you include some rarer cultivars in that garden the benefit is increased dramatically...you could become the sole
refuge of certain cultivars ...preserving them for the future.
Whilst not everyone can spend the time and effort to create a 'national collection' we can all create mini collections.
So if you want to help
the world, include some of the rarer and more unusal plants in your collection.
In a recent scientific survey, it was found that the average british garden had more biodiversity in it than the same area of tropical rain forest,
and that biodiversity would include at least one species of insect unknown to science.