Beorn Wilde is an environmentally conscious garden maintenance business that operates in Solihull and the surrounding areas. The driving force behind Beorn Wilde is the culmination of over five years’ worth of gardening knowledge and qualifications, as well as many years spent working with communities and seeing first-hand just how beneficial reconnecting with nature can be, for both mind and body.

My name is Jonathan Steven and I have been working as a self-employed gardener since finishing my Level 3 Horticulture qualification at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in 2014. As well as working privately, I spent three years working for Mind, the mental health charity, as a Horticultural Co-ordinator where I managed a 3.5-acre plot of land dedicated to the support and social rehabilitation of vulnerable adults with mental health problems. This job proved to be a challenging yet highly rewarding placement and it kickstarted my interest and involvement with a variety of other community schemes such as Gro-Organic and the Kingstanding Food Community.

Combined with this is the impending climate crisis which is throwing up all variety of problems that affect both our environment and our society. Supermarket shortages are becoming increasingly common because adverse and unpredictable weather is disturbing our seasons. Not only this, but the global rise in the use of chemical pesticides has been scientifically linked to the systematic eradication of our pollinating insects, which has then had the knock-on effect of diminished harvests.

Therefore, despite being fully trained and qualified in the ‘safe’ application of chemical herbicides, I consciously choose not to offer this as part of the Beorn Wilde garden maintenance service. I recognise that our unhealthy dependency on chemical solutions is not sustainable, and I am intent on doing something about it. But let us be real here, I am only one small voice and my voice alone is not likely to make the necessary difference to effect real change. So I have resolved to do my bit for the environment by throwing my passion into this business and actively championing and promoting the benefits of biodiversity in my local communities, one garden at a time.

Instead of using toxic applications that address the problems that gardeners face only on a superficial level, I approach the problem holistically using biocontrol, polycultures (companion planting) and natural barriers/predators. I do this with the aim of solving gardening problems both naturally and permanently. Instead of eradicating garden pests, I take inspiration from forest gardening and the natural world, with the aim of bolstering the ecological defences of my customers gardens so that alternative methods will not be necessary.

 I think global and I act local. 

“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”
Bill Mollison
Permaculture Co-founder and pioneer