Allotment gardens, private gardens and municipal green spaces with their biodiversity are part of the German cultural heritage and have enormous potential for habitats for insects, birds and small mammals, provided they are managed pesticide-free and close to nature. Many hobby gardeners already do this, but it is often not known. The BUND would like to make the large area of near-natural gardens visible and increase it.
There are many ways to make a garden insect-friendly and species-rich. Habitats for many insects can be created with native flowering plants, various nesting opportunities and hiding places for beneficial insects. Important basic rules can also be followed when gardening on beds, which positively affect yield and biodiversity.
Insect mortality has reached dramatic proportions. Forty per cent of the world's insects are threatened with extinction. The leading causes are habitat loss and the use of synthetic chemical pesticides. In intensively used agricultural landscapes, insects hardly find food and nesting sites. Pesticides are primarily used in conventional agriculture. But many of these active ingredients are also used in hobby gardens. In Germany, for example, there are around 150 products approved for use against insects, weeds and fungal diseases, which are sold in garden centres, DIY stores and online. More than 4,000 tons of these products are sold to hobby gardeners every year. Among them is the weedkiller glyphosate, which kills all plants and thus also destroys valuable forage plants for wild bees and butterflies. Or the bee-hazardous neonicotinoids, which are contained in products against aphids, boxwood borers or other sucking insects.
BUND provides tips and advice on natural gardening without poisons and peat and for diversity in the garden. With the Citizen Science App Nature Park Garden, the Federation wants to encourage gardeners, school classes, municipalities and interested people to design their gardens, areas and balconies in an insect-friendly way and to share their experiences. The Citizen Science project aims to create a large contiguous area (biotope network) of insect-friendly gardens in Germany, where valuable species can once again feel at home and spread.