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The Natural Gardener- Talk by Colin Stafford Johnson

McNamara Seated

13/04/2023 7:30pm

Date: Thursday 13th April 2023
Time: Doors- 7pm Start- 7.30pm
Tickets: General- £17 Concession- £15

Note on event by Colin Stafford Johnson:

years of wildlife film making and experiencing nature in all its glory has
fundamentally changed the way I see the world and my own land. Abandoning
traditional gardening in favour of native planting has not just transformed the
lives of the creatures that live around me – it’s transformed my life too.

childhood was spent outdoors watching birds, finding their nests, and recording
their songs. I soon got to know the habits of the birds that lived around me. A
chance encounter with a pen and ink sketch of a wildly exotic bird when I was
eight years old was to change my life. It led me on a journey to the other side
of the world to see it with my own eyes. It lived in one of the most pristine
places on earth on the island of New Guinea. Seeing a part of the world
untouched by man made me see the country where I grew up very differently. I
realised how much we had changed our landscape and how the fate of the natural
world is very much in our hands.

all the bad environmental news we hear on a daily basis can be almost overwhelming.
One can feel powerless when faced with the scale of the problems facing the
natural world. In many parts of the globe, we still wage war on the very things
that nature depends upon – native plants. No more so than on this island.

when I inherited a piece of land, it was immediately obvious to me that here
was a wonderful opportunity for me as an individual to do something really
positive not just for nature but for myself. The best thing I could do was to
abandon traditional gardening and to allow the native plants to return without
the aid of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. Soon the insects that
depended on those plants arrived and the place began to buzz. Flowers, fruits,
seeds and cover soon followed and the birds that depended upon them. I may not
as an individual be able to save the rainforest or the tiger or the panda, but
I can do plenty for our insect world that is in such desperate need. My garden
is now full of life, and I am filled with a wonderful sense of well-being."

Photo credit: 'Crossing the line'

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