The allotment gardens are important for promoting biodiversity, with numerous small gardens with a large variety of plants and habitats they are excellent for biodiversity.
The Swedish Allotment society, Koloniträdgårdsförbundet, has for 20 years been working with the Environmental Certification program. These last two years we have put an even stronger emphasis for measures promoting biodiversity, now one of the main criteria for this certification.
Numerous ideas and hacks as well as important scientific background are communicated to our members. Material for studies has been produced and in collaboration with Studiefrämjandet, (adult education organisation) the studies are being coached.
During the pandemic years we elaborated the possibility of distance gathering. We have hosted and broadcasted about 40 free webinars on different gardening and cultivation topics but also about ponds, hedgehogs, bats, birds, gardening, soil and lots of other topics. We reached up to 2500 participants in some webinars and all together we have reached about 10 000 persons. It has been very appreciated among our members and created more unity around our long and narrow country.
When an allotment garden organisation has reached the Environmental certification we inform the landowners, mainly the municipalities and cities, about this long-term work and to get the authorities to acknowledge the great work that is done. This is an important measure for strengthening relations and the “raison d’être” for allotment gardens in the present competitive situation of land use in the cities.
These last two years we have been a part of the project Rikare Trädgård (Richer Garden). The purpose of this project is to spread knowledge of biodiversity. The “knowledge hub”, rikaretradgard.se, is an accessible and pedagogic site for everything a garden owner needs to know for creating and promoting biodiversity. It consists of guides, for example how to create a meadow, a pond or a bird friendly garden, for example guide to wild bees, create a pond, guide to bee hotels and bird feeding. And sometimes “Doing less is more” when it comes to these issues.
Some highlights have been “Garden bug of the year”, a way to talk about bugs and give attention to species that are contributing to the garden in some way. In 2021 “Green rose chafer” and in 2022 “Migrant Hoverfly”. There is also a yearly theme with guides and articles. In 2021: “Ponds in the garden” and in 2022 “Collect seeds from wild plants and grow them in your garden” in collaboration with Swedish Botanical Society.
This spring we published a set of 14 different signposts with themes about biodiversity to show in their gardens, when visitors or neighbours might question some arrangements that don’t correspond to traditional views on what a neat garden is. The signposts also work like “Conversation pieces” for discussion and exchange of knowledge about biodiversity.
Now, with the rapid change of climate we experience, with heat waves on a regular basis the need for green spaces in the cities is becoming an argent issue. Our allotment gardens provide numerous ecosystem services such as local climate modification, pollination, as well as being locations for social sustainability. In short, an important greenspace feature of urban landscapes.
Responsible for the Environmental certification programme Koloniträdgårdsförbundet Sweden
(Source: Hyphen 77)
August 28th 2021: inauguration of a new arboretum in Skellefteå, Sweden
“This weekend I spent an absolutely wonderful day at the association “Dalkarlsliden” in Skellefteå. We were there celebrating that the union, “Koloniträdgårdsförbundet” turned 100 years old. The highlight of the day was the inauguration of their new arboretum, where I was involved in planting a tree. A previously empty lawn has been given 70 new trees and bushes by more than 30 different varieties. Talk about long-term investment in biodiversity! The sun was shining, all the gardens looked fantastic and the area was filled with happy and nice visitors” says Ulrica Otterling, director of the Swedish allotment federation.
This inauguration is part of our campaign: "Allotment loves trees"
During our jubilee year all our 229 associations have been involved in planting thousands of new fruit trees and berry bushes all over Sweden. We wanted to show how many positive contributions allotment areas make, not only for the colonists but for the whole society. The areas have a great biodiversity and it is highlighted through the campaign, where over 2000 new fruit trees and berry bushes have now been planted.
Planting trees is the best thing you can do for biodiversity and is one of the global environmental goals that all municipalities are also working to achieve.
1) The Owl Scholarship 2021
The Owl Scholarship 2021 from Studiefrämjandet (a study promotion organisation) in Sweden, goes to Eriksdalslundens Allotment garden museum, which receives an award for far-sighted public education in the nature and environmental area.
The museum shows, among other things, how allotment gardens contribute to biological diversity in the big city. And not least how garden enthusiasts can contribute to an increased diversity of insects, fungi, birds, animals and plants.
2) Planning Allotment gardens in Uruguay, European style
On June 2, the editor of Koloniträdgården's (Allotment garden) magazine in Sweden, Ulrika Flodin Furås, who is also an authorized Stockholm guide, walked with Uruguay's ambassador Santiago Wins in the allotment gardens in Tantolunden, Stockholm. ”It was a fun and rewarding conversation”, Ulrika says. In Uruguay, it is planned, on the initiative of the President's wife, to establish allotment gardens according to the European model. It is very exciting to be a part of this South American project, the Allotment garden society in Sweden thinks.