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Kendal Dentist Digs Deep For Local Wildlife Initiative

Did you have a Wild June? Founded in 2015, “30 Days Wild”, coordinated by the UK’s 46 Wildlife Trusts, encourages individuals, families, schools and organisations to look closer at the nature surrounding us, and take daily actions to enjoy, appreciate and support it.

Not, you might think, a natural fit for a busy dentistry clinic, but Bex Cooper, Director at Crossbank Dental Care in Kendal, can’t resist a challenge and wanted to contribute.

There’s a spare handkerchief of land behind the practice’s admin building, on Captain French Lane and to the astonishment of practice staff and patients, Bex can be seen spending any spare moments swapping smart shoes for wellies, picking up a spade, and digging a new wildlife pond.

“It’s a small, ignored corner, certainly not enough room for a wildflower meadow!” Bex explains. “But after a little bit of research and asking advice; when I learned how much benefit a pond could bring, I was out with my spade the next morning!”

Wildlife ponds certainly punch above their weight in terms of nature benefits, providing a home, shelter, and sustenance for an array of wildlife including aquatic and waterside plants, invertebrates, snails, pollinators, birds and butterflies. Despite our damp climate, small mammals, bees and birds often struggle to reach safe drinking water so small ponds- even an old washing up bowl- can be lifesavers.

The Wildlife Trusts are hoping heading out to a nature reserve or local park for bird, bat or butterfly watching, building a bug hotel, or planting pollinator-friendly flowers will inspire people to continue beyond June.

Crossbank Dental Care have already undertaken initiatives to improve the sustainability of the practice, including reducing clinic waste, switching to sustainable bamboo toilet roll, low energy lightbulbs, chlorine-free inks, recycled paper and solar panels. They will be extending their support of Cumbria Wildlife Trust with a new sponsored tree planting scheme in the autumn.

Bex advocates starting small: “We’ve deliberately allowed native plants to grow in nooks and crannies around the clinic, and we love hearing passing families pointing out the flowers and visiting insects to their children, just as we do with ours.

“I’m hoping our little pond can provide enjoyment and inspiration for people, as well as refuge for nature. Analysis of previous 30 Days Wild initiatives shows increased connection with nature brings improved health, happiness and relationship benefits. A tiny change can have a big, positive impact, even letting a corner of the garden grow wild, fitting a window box, or rewilding that old washing up bowl. Nature’s much more important- and rewarding- than the washing up, anyway!”


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