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Happiness Hubs

One Voice for Animals UK Guest Blog by Alana Hurd

While wildscaping a church (and the surrounding land) over the summer, a volunteer asked me, “Are you creating a biodiversity hub?” and the thought popped into my mind, “No, this is a ‘Happiness Hubʼ.” A ‘Happiness Hubʼ is a place of balance: uniting the needs of every being who would desire to utilise that space (local humans, wildlife and even plant life) and finding the best way that can be thought of, to co-exist in harmony together: that also means recognising the right of plants who have seeded and carved out their own territory there too.

Whether the land then becomes an Ecologistʼs ‘biodiversity idealʼ is secondary and a cheerful accident. It all starts with recognising that NO space (no land or property) belongs absolutely to us humans and that (quite frankly) we need to learn to share a lot better. Every SINGLE inch of space across our planet is criss-crossed and claimed by a multitude of different species (animal & botanical) who all think of that space as 'mine' and they are ALL right. With empathetic boundaries in place, we can all co-exist to mutual benefit. When us humans regard a piece of land/property as ‘mineʼ all that we have done is what EVERY other species does: we have claimed a territory from others of our own species in such a way that the boundaries are generally acknowledged and respected. We have done this not through battle (as we used to) but through an evolved social/economic construct that we have created around us, known to us all as a 'legal system' within which we mark out territories on paper maps and sign what we call (and generally accept) to be a 'legal contract.' Our land ownership is recognised ONLY between us humans.


Our general lack of empathy towards other species who come into 'our gardens/houses' stems from having blinded ourselves - over many centuries - to the fact that we have no actual RIGHT to the land, except from other humans, who have chosen to live within and abide by our 'legal system'. As far as the fox, rat or squirrel who steps into 'your garden' knows, that is their territory, as often they have claimed it (tooth and claw) from others of their own species. They might fear humans and our actions towards them but (in their minds) they are merely defending themselves against a predator. They have not read and acknowledged our 'House Deeds' and said, "Gosh yes, I see that this is YOUR garden but I am going to flout your authority to deliberately upset you/get you to call 'Pest Control'."

So - whatever your hopes and dreams for your home and garden - let's start from scratch (with a new understanding) and acknowledge (first and foremost) that that creature (in 'your' garden) has EVERY right (in its mind) to be there too (and not only take up space, but thrive as best it can). The next step is working out how to co-exist in a ‘Happiness Hubʼ (previously known as your garden) with that being. That means: recognising the needs and desires of yourself and all local animals/plants and finding a ‘CENTRAL BALANCE POINTʼ of harmony between the requirements of everyone. Basically, is there a way that everyone can win?

If you would like to find out more from Alana regarding wildscaping you can visit her website


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