Chris Packham details ‘nightmare’ change to his garden he was forced to undertake

Chris Packham asks Susie Dent to smell bear poo sample

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Every month BBC Gardener’s World Magazine podcast invites another guest to discuss a topic close to their heart. For season two, episode one, Chris Packham sat down with Kate Bradbury, the wildlife editor at BBC Gardener’s World Magazine to discuss ways in which people can welcome more wildlife into their own areas. The naturalist also spoke about how his outdoor space helped him through the pandemic and the problem he ran into when he started digging which turned out to be a “nightmare”. 

Kate introduced: “Many of us reconnected with our gardens and the outdoors over the last year, turning our attention to the natural world to help us deal with the global pandemic. 

“And through it, we discovered ways to welcome in more wildlife ­– but could we do more?” 

She asked him: “How has his relationship with the garden changed over the last year?” And Chris replied: “It’s become a lot more intimate I think. And I’ve worked a lot harder on that space. 

“For two reasons; one it’s been so much more rewarding to be in that space and secondly because I’ve had the time to give to it. 

“Typically, I would’ve been charging around to and from that space, doing what I could on the spur of the moment in any five minute period, before or after a dog walk, or before or after I went through the gate and left for a week or so,” he added. 

“But having been here in that space, and for me, that’s a new space – I’ve moved house – I’ve been taking stock of that resource and thinking ‘how can I modify it to make it a better place for wildlife and for myself?’ 

“And I actually feel as a gardener… as an aspiring gardener, I’ve made significant progress in the last year. 

“My fingers, there’s a little tint of green on the tips!”

Keen to know more, Kate asked: “What have you been doing then?” 

“I’ve taken stock of the space and I’ve looked at the trees that were growing there and I’ve tried to analyse how the space is growing botanically,” Chris explained. 

“I’ve looked at the soil and the drainage, I’ve made an assessment, what the problems were and what I can do to rectify those and improve it. So, I’ve gone back to basics.”

He went onto say how he had mature trees – oak, beech and hazel to name a few- in his garden. 

“But it was lacking in fruiting trees,” Chris revealed before telling Kate he had gone and bought several mature varieties. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine (@gardenersworldmag)

“All of this has been facilitated because of a rather arduous and expensive removal of a huge number of rhododendron.” 

“Oh blimey!” Kate remarked. “No, worse than ‘oh blimey’, it’s been a nightmare,” Chris commented. 

“They were growing rampantly for more than 100 years, we’re talking about rhododendrons with enormous fortitude here, so we cut them all down and we turned them into wood chip and gave it away to people who wanted wood chip. 

“And then we set about the process of removing the roots and probably, that will be continuing for someone for about the next century!” The Springwatch presenter remarked. 

“Because every time I stick a fork in the ground, unfortunately I find another one.” 

He went onto discuss the hedge he had planted in his new space – and how he needed it to be native. 

“Holly, bit slower growing, but I looked over the fence, I’m analysing my broader environment and it will be compatible with everything else that is growing,” Chris added. 

Our Wild Adventures airs tonight on BBC Two at 8pm. 

Source: Read Full Article