Stella - Garden Queen
written & illustrated by Grandad


Stella loved nature and enjoyed every second she could spend outside in the fresh air. She recently had spent two days digging out and making a pond area in the garden. After she had finished, everyone said how professional it looked, which made her smile with pride. Stella is very concerned about climate change and has some plans to help the environment in her local area. She wants everyone in her area, to plant a meadow patch in their garden as well as plant one tree and help save the environment.

One of her friends came the next day and loved the pond area she had created and her friend begged her parents to ask Stella to make one in their garden. So they asked Stella, if she would create a pond for them, Stella agreed, but asked in return, that they planted a meadow patch and one tree and got two other houses to do the same. They agreed and this made Stella very happy, as now she was beginning to help save the environment.



Maybe you are wondering or are not sure what is climate change, well climate change, is the process of our planet heating up. The Earth has warmed by an average of 1° in the last century and although that might not sound like much, it means big things for us humans and all the wildlife around the world.”

" Unfortunately, rising temperatures don’t just mean that we’ll get nicer weather, the changing climate will actually make our weather more extreme and unpredictable. When you watch the news, you can see how our weather is changing. As the temperature rises, some areas will get wetter and lots of animals and humans could find they’re not able to adapt to their changing climate. Our parents look after Earth right now, but soon it will be our turn and we need to do something about it now.



" Trees contribute to our environment by providing oxygen, improving our air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. In a year, an average tree can remove 1 ton of carbon dioxide from the air and a family of four can get all the oxygen they need for a whole year from just one average mature tree.

" Trees are an important part of every community. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and gardens are lined with trees that create a peaceful, pleasing environment for all of us. Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings. We all sit under the cool shade they provide during outdoor activities with family and friends. As you walk to school next time, look at the trees and realise they are our friends."



" Like many of you, I love nature and I want it to be here forever. Our forests absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide for us, a greenhouse gas from the air and release oxygen back into it. The Amazon rainforest is so large and efficient at doing this that it acts like our planet’s air conditioner and has been limiting climate change up to now. Sadly, many rainforests are now being cut down to make wood, palm oil and to clear the way for farmland, roads, oil mines and dams. "

" How will climate change affect our planet, well, the Earth has had many tropical climates and; ice ages; over billions of years, that it’s been in existence. So, I am guessing you are wondering, why is now so different? Well, this is because for the last 150 years, human activity has meant we’re releasing a huge amount of harmful gases into the Earth’s atmosphere and records show that the global temperature is rising more rapidly since this time. "



" So, you wondering, why you should bother having a meadow patch in your garden, well, our smaller wildlife needs food, water and a place to live and breed. These can be provided whatever the size of your garden. You may already have some features in your garden that attract wildlife. In creating a meadow patch, you are recreating some of the habitats that are found in the wild, though on a smaller scale. If managed in the right way, your garden can provide ideal habitats for animals and plants and make a significant contribution to wildlife conservation. Research has shown that an average sized garden, managed with conservation in mind, can support up to 3000 different species of plants and animals. "

" Variety is the key to a successful meadow patch, different plants attract different species and native plants are best. We have a rich, mixed community of wildlife that has evolved together. Most species will be eaten by more than one animal and will support hundreds of different species. A wildlife garden, that includes a meadow patch, is not a garden left to run wild, it is a garden inspired by nature that both wildlife and people can enjoy and is really a garden for everyone. We love our meadow patch in our garden and enjoy seeing bees and other species. "



" Like my friends I love animals and especially animals who live in the wild. Climate change is already affecting our wildlife all over the world and certain species are suffering more than others. Polar animals for instance, whose icy natural habitat is melting in the warmer temperatures are particularly at risk. In fact, experts say that the Arctic sea ice is melting at a shocking rate of 9%, every 10 years. Our beautiful Polar bears need this ice to hunt, to raise their young and to rest after long periods of swimming. Sadly, it’s not just our beautiful polar animals who are in trouble. "

" Our amazing apes, like our orangutans, who live in the rainforests of Indonesia, are under threat, as their habitat is being cut down and more droughts cause more bushfires. Even our lovely sea turtles are under threat, as they rely on nesting beaches, to lay their eggs, many of which are threatened by rising sea levels. So many of our wonderful wild animals are under threat and we need to help every single one of them, before it’s too late.



" Climate change isn’t just affecting our animals, it’s already having a huge impact on us, too. Most affected, are the growers who grow the food we eat every day. Farming communities, especially in developing countries, are facing higher temperatures, increased rain, floods and droughts. Buying Fair-trade products can help make sure a farmer is paid a fair wage. This means they can cover their costs, earn enough money to have a decent standard of living and invest in their farms to keep their crop healthy, without needing to resort to cheap methods of farming which can further damage our environment. "

"Sometimes I get carried away when I visit our local "pick your own", with my dad. The growers there, use sustainable methods to farm and as it is very local to use, there is a very small carbon footprint. (Ask you parents or a teacher about carbon footprint ) Sometimes my dad goes crazy, when he sees how much I have picked, but like me, he is also concerned about climate change. "



A local farmer, whose daughter goes to the same school as me, had told her dad about my scheme for everyone to plant a tree and have a meadow patch. He decided to devote a whole field to have young trees in and another grower had donated the young trees. So on the Sunday, a few of us went to the growers field and helped plant the trees. It was a very good day for the planet.



Stella's name was spreading all over the country and beyond, one morning, while Stella was having breakfast, her dad came to her and said, "Stella, there are some people at the door, who want to talk to you." Stella, went to the front door with her brother and sister and outside, was a news crew and reporters. "Stella, would you mind doing a interview for the 1 o'clock news?" Asked one of the reporters. Stella smiled and replied "yes I would love to." "So Stella, what is your message to your community and the country?" asked the reporter.

Stella replied, "climate change does not discriminate, everyone will be affected, which is why it is important all of us take action in whatever way we can, here in our community and beyond, we are planting trees and meadow patches to help the environment. Small changes in your own home can also make a big difference. Try switching to energy-saving light bulbs, walking instead of using your car, turning off electrical items when you’re not using them, recycle and reduce your food waste. All these little things can make a difference. If we all do this, it will make a big difference. Finally, we all have to learn to live with nature and not destroy it."

To be continued..........