We know that our activities impact our environment and that we have a responsibility to minimise negative impacts and focus on ways to make a positive contribution. As a family run business (with three small children), we are acutely aware of the future of our environment and know that we have to preserve it for the next generation. We are always looking for new initiatives and ways that we can offer our clients environmentally concious choices when planting or landscaping.
“Giving Back” is a phrase we use regularly at 4th Corner to remind us that as Directors of the business it is our responsibility to continually contribute to our local communities and address the environmental impact of our work. The very nature of our working practices, “maintaining” gardens and grounds, can contribute positively to both resident/visitor experience and wellbeing, and at the same time deliver biodiversity and environmental benefits. However, practices such as hedge trimming, strimming, grass cutting and regular weeding also reduce and damage valuable wildlife habitats. At 4th Corner we refer regularly to the “Green Paper” published by the RSPB and Wildlife Trusts “A Nature and Wellbeing Act” to remind ourselves how important it is to continue initiating planting and landscaping for health, wellbeing and for biodiversity. 4th Corner Director Amanda Ransom is the driving force behind our “Planting for Biodiversity” and “Community Wildlife Gardens” initiatives. Since 2012 we have made planting for biodiversity a central theme in all our planting and landscaping schemes, and have initiated Community Projects through the provision of free landscaping and planting services to local communities.
Our Aims and Objectives are:
Wildflower Turf generates significant advantages over the alternative methods of establishing a wildflower habitat. Changing colours throughout the year can be achieved, allowing for the creation of stunning wildflower meadows. The flower seed mix in the turf is carefully chosen to produce flowering plants from early in the spring through to the middle of the autumn.
The grasses in the mix are native to the British Isles and are chosen to complement the flowers and not to compete with them, which is a common problem with conventional wildflower plugs or wildflower seeding. This allows the flowers to succeed rather than be swamped by the grasses. The grasses are visually attractive while they seed, along side the wild flowers, and the combination provides a food source for birds and a favourable habitat for butterflies and other insects.
The formation of a dense sward of turf, combined with the large roll size, mean that this turf acts as a weed blanket where the plants in the turf get a head start. They are already established and so prevent the establishment of weed seeds that are inherent in the soil below the turf. The seed mix has been designed to give a high proportion of wildflowers as well as grasses. The 50% wildflower and 50% grass mix is unusual in this type of mix and is possible due to the soil-less system.
Conventional Flower turf is typically sown at 20% wildflowers and 80% grass seeds. The great risk with this is that the grasses dominate the flowers and very few flowers grow as a result. The plants in flower will vary through the spring and summer according to the different species of flowers in the turf. The emergence of flowers and the type of plants that flower will vary from year to year according to temperature, moisture and available nutrients. This will ensure that no two years are the same (as is the case with true wild flower meadows) and gives a constantly changing landscape.
4th Corner Landscaping are an Accredited Partner of Wildflower Turf Limited and have experience and training in the use of Wildflower Turf and related products.
In our quest to limit the environmental impact of our work activities we are very pleased to have made the positive step of changing from our regular 2-stroke petrol to Aspen 2-stroke petrol. Aspen alkylate petrol contains 99% less harmful hydrocarbons compared to regular petrol, the exhaust fumes from Aspen are much cleaner and health risks to machinery operators are dramatically reduced. Compared to regular petrol, Aspen alkylate petrol gives out a substantially reduced amount of substances which contribute to acidification and eutrophication as well as lowering the formation of ground level ozone which is harmful to humans, animals and plants. If you would like to know more about Aspen, you can visit the website www.aspenfuel.co.uk.