BiaHero is an online support forum connecting experienced growers with beginners so that we can promote growing our own organic food in the community. We also aim to highlight the need for food and seed sovereignty in Ireland and elsewhere.
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 amber or 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.