What is the significance of declaring a reserve/wildlife garden?
It is a public declaration of personal intent to restore part of the vast areas that we
humans have taken from nature, deforested, planted with monocrops, concreted or tarmacked
over. It is a statement of intent to return it to the wildlife we have done so much to
damage. A public declaration can act as a big incentive for us to keep up the intent.
Your example can also lead to others taking a similar step, either through the WPM or the
National Wildlife Federation or both. Tell your friends and the example will spread.
How much land do I need to do this?
There is no minimum size on the area you can declare a reserve or wildlife garden. You can
declare any size of patch of land or garden, or even a windowbox, as a wildlife garden.
Do I need to own land or have a garden to do it?
No, just to have legal control or consent to manage it as you wish. It can be the garden
of your rented townhouse, or the windowboxes on your ledge – any patch that is legally
under your control. If you are still living with parents, you can persuade them to give
you a section of garden to do this with. If you have no garden you can declare on old sink
full of soil or a windowbox a reserve and plant it with native plants that birds or
Does it have to be beautiful for me to do this?
No. You can declare an old patch of wasteland a reserve, and just clean it up and let it
revert to nature, or plant it naturally with native plants. The important thing is that
you are restoring habitat to nature.
Does this involve signing ownership or control of my land over to the WPM?
The reserve declaration is not a signing over of any degree of ownership or control.
The declaration is a statement of personal intent about how you will manage the patch of
Will this reduce the value of my land if I sell it, or tie the hands of anyone
I leave it to in my will?
Definitely not. The declaration refers only to your own intentions. It does not bind
anyone else, either anyone you sell the land or garden to, or anyone you pass it on to in
Will this reduce my security or privacy?
Not at all. Whoever you allow or invite will be entirely up to you and they will have to
arrange with you first. The address of your reserve/garden will not be made public. The
declaration does not commit you to having hordes of schoolkids, scouts or pans
trooping through your garden.
Do I need to publicly divulge the address of my reserve or wildlife garden?
No, it is entirely up to you how much you wish to divulge, or indeed if you wish
to keep the declaration entirely private. We would like to have pages with images and
personal statements about every reserve, since this will inspire others. But if you wish
to protect your privacy you could just give your state or even your country as the
location and your initials or pseudonym as your name, or you can choose to remain
completely outside our reserve pages.
Will the WPM or the National Wildlife Federation check what I am doing on
Nobody from the WPM or the National Wildlife Federation will come snooping around to
check. How you put into practise your commitment is entirely up to you. The National
Wildlife Federation has a helpful site which will give you guidance and resources to put
your commitment into practice.
What if I change my mind about the declaration or any part of it?
No problem. You can back out of the agreement in whole or in part at any time if any part
makes you uncomfortable, just drop us a line. You can even dictate your own wording by
writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to be a WPM member to do this?
You don’t have to be a paid up member to do it, nor to remain a paid up member to keep the
certificate. We welcome anyone who wishes to restore a patch of habitat to nature.