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From the blog

Growing green spaces

by Kari-ann Whitbread

Green space in the workplace is beneficial to staff health and wellbeing, and is also a great way to increase biodiversity and benefit pollinators such as bees and butterflies – but with staff now working remotely, how can they increase the green spaces available to them at home?

You don’t need a large garden to enjoy some glorious greenery, even the smallest spaces can be turned into tiny havens for nature. In addition to this, plants have even been shown to reduce stress and improve productivity. Below are some tips on greening your workspace, whatever the area available.

  • Planters and pots can be used to brighten up patios, balconies, or windowsills. Place a saucer beneath so you can water from below to prevent water logging. You can also use old fruit crates to create your own window box and grow your own herbs and salads.
  • You can buy Living Wall Planters online or in garden centres. These can be used indoors or out and can be as large or small as you like, so they can be tailored to fit whatever space you have.
  • No space outside? Why not place indoor plants or herbs around your office area? This will help to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere while you’re working.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, of whatever size, there are numerous ways you can make it more wildlife friendly:

  • Grow a mix of plants to provide a wealth of nectar and pollen for bees. Choose single, open flowers so pollinators can access them easily.
  • Add greenery to your shed and storage areas by adding a green roof; this will help improve air quality and encourage wildlife into the garden.
  • Put up a bird box/bird feeder. If there are cats nearby place your feeder near a dense bush to provide birds with cover. If you are feeling particularly creative you may want to try making your own bird box – the Gardener’s World and RSPB websites both have step-by-step guides to help you. In spring, provide protein-rich feed, such as fat balls. Seeds are best in the winter.
  • Build a bug hut! All you need to do for this is leave small areas of rocks, twigs, and rotting wood in your garden. This will create shelter for all sorts of insects, such as beetles and spiders.
  • Get some trellis and grow some climbing plants to brighten up your fences.

Why not share your gardening successes with colleagues, and even challenge teams to improve the biodiversity and nature potential of their plots? It really can be done in the smallest of areas, both indoors and out.

This blog was originally published for Investors in the Environment, the national environmental certification scheme for organisations.