Sustainable Wildlife Gardening

Ref: C3674947

Ever wondered what makes a garden attractive to wildlife? Using nature-inspired sustainable design principles, this course explores the steps that go into making a successful wildlife garden. Beginning with a survey of the on-site garden, the course will develop a skills including: drawing scaled plans; understanding good design; plant knowledge; sustainable vegetable growing; natural pest control; and managing soil for biodiversity. This will be delivered alongside practical sessions in the garden covering everything from identifying plants to making a pond and planting trees. All with no chemicals, by using resources wisely, reusing wherever possible and recycling the rest. The course provides a basic foundation in both practical gardening skills and plant theory, preparing students for further progression opportunities including the WEA course 'Gardening for Pleasure' or college courses in Horticulture and Landscape Maintenance.

Course aim

This course is aimed at people who want to attract more wildlife into their garden. Following the principles of sustainable design you will learn how to create a dynamic garden that is fit for wildlife, for growing food and for pleasure.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the role gardening plays within a broader ecological and social context. Learn how to interpret, and take inspiration from nature to create varied and sustainable habitats that support wildlife and provide space for food-growing.
  • Develop critical capacities to think about plants in a functional way. Achieved through hands-on work; regular photo-quiz style assessments and provide a tried and tested 'planting palette' that can be applied in most garden settings.
  • Gain practical gardening skills, including: planting techniques; tree planting and aftercare; pond creation; sustainable soil management, including homemade compost; and non-chemical methods of pest control.
  • Acquire survey skills for analysing growing conditions and identifying site safety issues. Design with plants that are appropriate to both the site conditions and the garden users, and performing a risk assessment when necessary.
  • Create site plans. This will include: an introduction to digital mapping, how to measure planting areas and adding information to the map, to scale. Design planting plans, which can be used to calculate planting density and plant quantities.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Appropriate footwear, such as wellington boots or walking shoes, and warm/waterproof clothes are essential for session taught outdoors in the garden.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Sustainable Wildlife Gardening

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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