And then, as I was breaking up the concrete, my wife found a newt. Suddenly, what I was taking out was not an unimportant eyesore but a delapidated home for a welcome garden animal. The project quickly changed from one of removal to one of replacement, and garden plans changed dramatically. Much research on t'interweb ensued, a practical pond liner was bought, and steadily, after a lot of digging and back ache, a more inviting habitat started to take shape. We are now the enthusiastic owners of a wildlife pond and bog garden, with all the colourful and interesting flora that go with it. The newt was still around once we'd finished, and I hope it likes its new habitat.
So why am I mentioning this here? Well, it's because I don't just have an interest in this as a gardener - in fact I'm not really particularly green fingered in the first place. Instead, it's because I am fascinated by the nature around me, and am acutely aware that habitats for all manner of British wildlife are threatened by human activity. Urbanisation, development and landscaping are all playing their part, but simply by reintroducing a low-maintenance wildlife-friendly area to your garden, balcony or even window box, you can help reverse the threat.
Perhaps just as important from my personal perspective, this new area of my garden, once it has become established with healthy plants and fully colonised, will provide endless photographic opportunities for capturing up close images of the kind of creatures we rarely see otherwise. So I get a warm glow having helped nature a bit and also the reward of a photogenic haven literally on my doorstep. What's not to like?