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 initial 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 through natures natural processes 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 the creatures we are supposed to share the planet with. The website is set up to explain to interested neighbours what is happening there on your Ark and why it is necessary.
Step 3. 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 and through borrowed grazers or heavy sheet mulching. 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.
Step 4. Step in and provide any ecosystem services that we may need to provide due to the absence of the full circle of life. The aim is to create as many different habitats as possible in the land you have, habitats that would normally be created by keystone species which are missing from our island Arks. This develops as diverse an ecosystem as possible on your patch. If you have the space, consider creating multiple habitats such as an Ark meadow, a bare earth bank, piles of deadwood, a wildlife pond, a scrubby thorny thicket, a mature native woodland, a dry-stone wall etc.
Step 5. Native plants are the foundation stone to any ecosystem. Arks are based on the native plants in your part of the world, wherever you may be. After careful observation of your Ark, if your soil is damaged or devoid of growth, the weed seed bank may be absent. In that case, sow an Ark meadow or a wildflower meadow to reboot the system and slowly introduce as many native plants as possible. Only use locally sourced native organic seeds, cuttings and plants (if possible) as these are vital genetic material for the local insect populations and have not been grown with poisons. Building your Ark involves careful mimicking of nature’s natural processes.
Step 6. Make holes in your boundaries to allow wildlife to pass through. Learn to share your patches of this earth.
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 aim for darkness or make sure all your ARK lights are red in tone (Doesn’t affect them nearly as much). 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.
Step 8. Get together with like-minded folk and approach your councils and home owners associations, your schools and university campuses and ask for support to turn more and more park and public land into Arks.
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.
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.
We Are The Ark: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness,
with illustrations by Ruth Evans, is out now on Timber Press. Please always try and support your LOCAL bookstore first and foremost! Click through for various purchasing options here or at The Book Depository.
Thank you to The Irish Times for including Mary in this important piece The Great Rewilding: How amazing Ireland would be if we were covered in our own plants? You can read it here.
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…
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!