ARK = ACTS OF RESTORATIVE KINDNESS
Weaving a patchwork of safe havens for Nature globally, in our gardens, schools, public spaces and beyond.
Here are some steps you can take right now in your own garden/yard/land to build an Ark! Visit our How To Build An Ark section for even more details for each step.
Step 1. Give at least half of your garden or land back to nature. If not half, as much as you can manage. Try to grow as much of your own organic food as possible in the other half. Protect and guide your Ark to re-wild it through natures natural processes, starting with the native wild “weed” plants, through to a thicket of thorny plants that are a huge habitat and have an important role as natures barbed wire to nurse young trees to grow safely. Let the land become what it wants and it will become a more and more complex ecosystem over time. All land is welcome, even a window box full of local soil that allows the native weed seeds to flourish and provide food and reproductive partners for the insects is great!
Step 2. Put up a sign saying “THIS IS AN ARK – WWW.WEARETHEARK.ORG” . This simple action removes the shame that people feel about having a messy garden, and replaces it with pride that you’re doing something important to help all of the creatures we are supposed to share the planet with. The website is set up to explain to people what is happening there on your Ark and why it is necessary. See our extra activities section on the website for ideas on how to create the most diverse and supportive Ark possible.
Step 3. Step in and provide any ecosystem services that we may need to provide due to the absence of the full circle of life. For example, most land, if left to its own devices, will eventually become a closed canopy woodland and we need to occasionally thin out branches or coppice some trees to allow more light in. This develops as diverse an ecosystem as possible.Try to remove any non-native ‘Invasive plants’. This is difficult on a large scale but on our individual patches of earth, we can manage it easily enough by hand. These plants do not move at 100MPH. There is NO place for chemicals in an ark, they cause many more problems than they solve and are very destructive to life on all levels. Slug pellets are killing the birds and hedgehogs who eat poisoned slugs for example… there is always a knock on effect.
Step 4. Leave your lawns grow wild and just mow a path through it if required. If your lawn is a thick sward of grass, then maybe consider scraping away the grass and allowing the native weed seed bank have a chance to emerge. If your land is damaged or devoid of growth, sow a wildflower meadow. Only use local native organic wildflower seeds as these are vital genetic material for the local insect populations. This will reboot the ecosystem and set the stage for the next layer of wild plants to emerge.
Step 5. A sand bank, a pile of rotting log and twigs and a small pond will be a great support to wildlife. Make holes in your boundaries to allow wildlife to pass through from garden to garden.
Step 6. Allow deadwood to stay where it is unless it is dangerous. A living oak tree will support over 500 different species of life, a standing dead oak tree will support thousands! Death is a vital part of life.
Step 7. ARK Lighting. The blue and white toned lighting which is now in standard use, is one of the major factors in biodiversity collapse. Please make sure all your ARK lights are amber or red in tone (Doesn’t affect them nearly as much) and make sure the outdoor lights are motion sensor only so that they only come on for short times when you need them and allow darkness to prevail in between. Brilliant resource here from Dark Sky Ireland.
Step 8. Get together with like minded folk and go to your councils and estate management committees, your schools and university campuses and ask for support to turn more and more park and public land into Arks. Make a sign for your Ark, download our community Ark logo or make your own. The signs will support the goodwill to leave land be untidy and messed. Allow as much land as possible to burst into life, a messy thicket of native plants and other life forms will gradually develop and create an Ark for as many creatures as we can save.
Step 9. Please mark your Ark on our map of Arks so that we can eventually try and connect up the dots with wildlife corridors in our future vision for this movement.
We are all becoming more aware of our climate breakdown but we seem less aware of the silent killer that is biodiversity and habitat loss which is happening at a staggering rate and is equally – if not more – potentially devastating.
“With climate change we might feel the impact in our every day lives, but with biodiversity it is not so clear, but by the time you feel what’s happening, it may be too late”.
Cristiana Pașca Palmer UN Leader on biodiversity. Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The Birth Of The Ark
One fine morning last year, I was sitting at my desk looking out over my garden when something happened that made me realise how we can all become part of the solution to the crisis we are facing with nature. READ MORE…
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Get Involved – Build An Ark!
Download our community Ark logo or make your own. Get creative with your sign and send us photos or post them on Instagram with #thisisanark and #letsbuildanark. We will repost as many as we can on our socials. Now you can be proud and everyone who sees it can research The Ark project here on our site. You and your land are connected under the umbrella of our caring community.
What Can One Person Do To Make A Difference?
For those of us that care about the living world around us and are aware of the challenges we all face, this is a painful and desperate time – but there is hope. We have waited too long for changes to come from our leaders and politicians. We cannot wait any longer. The change will come from the ground up – it will come from us.
This is a call to step up and re assess our management of every individual tiny patch of the earth possible. It’s a call to the guardians of the earth to step forward and make themselves known, to raise their voices. We need to help the natural world and not hinder it. We have to invite nature and wildness back into our gardens, parks and every tiny patch of this earth we can. To create sanctuary, food and habitat for the creatures we are supposed to share this planet with and who in return will help us survive here within a truly natural and beautiful environment.
It’s up to each of us to re-wild our world, piece by piece until we have a patchwork quilt of sanctuaries that wraps its way around the globe.
We Are The Ark. We Hold The Seeds For A New Earth.
Things are only hopeless if we do nothing, so let’s do something!