Why go native?
That's an easy one. You won't just be restoring habitat, you'll attract WAY more wildlife species.
A native Oak sustains 284 associated insect species, supporting an entire eco-system. Our native Silver Birch supports 233 species.
An ornamental Rhododendron or ornamental Cherry supports ZERO associated insect species. This means that the tree cannot support wildlife reliant on insects for food (which is pretty much ALL of it!).
Put another way a Rhododendron is only marginally better than a steel sculpture or a fence, for supporting UK ecosystems.
Bird's Foot Trefoil attracts all native pollinators, and Common Blue and Clouded Yellow butterflies to breed. It flowers for 6 months every year.
Common Sorrel attracts the stunning and tiny Small Copper butterfly to take up residence.
White Campion attracts Moths at dusk, with it's clove-like scent. The list goes on.
No bedding plant from a garden centre can compete. Double flowers and larger flowers often deter butterflies and bees from foraging effectively.
Our native wildlife simply hasn't evolved to utilise foreign or bred-species. It is true that butterflies and bees will feed from non-native flowers, BUT they don't call them home and utilise them to reproduce.
See our BLOG section "why re-wilding even at a small scale benefits nature" for the results of a study by the University of Sussex into garden wildflowers.
A gently sloping wildlife pond, with mud and native plants, can support an ecosystem of over 500 species of flora and fauna.
A clear, goldfish pond with paved edging, might only attract 10% of that diversity, and is unlikely to support Amphibians as all kinds of ornamental fish feed on their eggs/tadpoles.
The rage in pumps and filters, only reduces this diversity further. Imagine being a mini-beast facing that kind of pond machinery.
As for the insistence on pond pumps to make a pond "healthy", we ask how many of the native ponds in our countryside, come equipped with an electrically powered water circulation system?
Our wildlife doesn't need that kind of help, and your bank balance will be the other beneficiary!