Recently, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, as President of the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, met with the Secretary-General of the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Mr. Bo Øksnebjerg, in the wild garden outside her home of Chancellery House at Fredensborg Slot. Below is a translation of the interview:
“On a summer day, when the sun was shining against dark gray rain clouds, Her Royal Highness invited Crown Princess Mary inside her private garden, which is connected to the Crown Prince Couple’s residence, the Chancellery, at Fredensborg Castle.
Here, the Crown Princess welcomed the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature’s Secretary-General Bo Øksnebjerg. The two accompanied each other on a walk among wildflowers, weeds, felled trees, and insects, while the Crown Princess spoke passionately about the initiatives that contribute to giving biodiversity a helping hand in the private garden.
‘It is fantastic to help give the needy Danish nature a helping hand and create wild oases right here where we live. After the garden has become wilder, I come out here even more. It is incredibly interesting to follow how the wildness unfolds, and I experience something new almost every day,’ says Crown Princess Mary.
THE CROWN PRINCESS HAS AN EYE FOR BIODIVERSITY
As president of the WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, the Crown Princess is committed to creating better conditions for biodiversity.
It is several years since the Crown Princess began the transformation into a wilder garden at home. Today you can, among other things, enjoy the sight of a wildflower meadow with native species such as yarrow, daylight star, and night violet in the private garden that was once founded by Queen Ingrid. Crown Princess Mary has also left felled, dead trees in the garden for the benefit of a large number of insects.
Secretary-General Bo Øksnebjerg was also thrilled to experience the wildness of the royal garden.
‘In the Crown Princess’ garden, people have really managed to think in the context between our native plant and animal life. Many of our most vulnerable bees and butterflies are deeply dependent on very specific plants in order to survive, and this has clearly been the case here in Fredensborg,’ says Bo Øksnebjerg.
THE CHILDREN MUST LEARN ABOUT WILD NATURE
In the Crown Prince Couple’s garden, it is not only the flowers that are allowed to be wild. The Crown Prince Couple’s children can also unfold with football goals, a playhouse and climbing equipment. For Crown Princess Mary, it is also important that the Crown Prince Couple’s children gain an understanding of biodiversity and the importance of wild nature from an early age.
‘After the garden has become wilder, we have seen more butterflies and bees. I believe that when children see, feel and hear nature up close, they are more likely to take care of it – outside the garden and in the future. They have gained a greater understanding of what biodiversity is for a size, and what we can lose in a few generations if we do not take good care of it,’ the Crown Princess explains.
The Crown Princess herself grew up in the immediate vicinity of both the Australian bush and the water, and today it is still a high priority for her to stay as much as possible in the Danish nature close to forest and beach. In other words, nature has been close to Crown Princess Mary’s heart for the rest of her life.
‘It is a pleasure to experience the great commitment that the Crown Princess shows when it comes to Danish nature. It is no secret that our nature is in crisis. Hundreds of animal and plant species are in danger of extinction, but we can all help make a difference. The Crown Princess’ wild garden can hopefully help to inspire the Danes to create more wildness in their own gardens,’ concludes Bo Øksnebjerg.
THE CROWN PRINCESS’ 3 WILD INITIATIVES:
Dead by: ‘In this part of the garden we have left the trees that have fallen due to storm. The tree trunk is home to many insects and fungi, and then I think it decorates and looks beautiful. The tree tells a story. At first it gave a nice shade to the garden, and now it is allowed to fill a new role and lie here and be home to a lot of insects.’
The flower meadow: ‘The flower meadow is another small contribution to increasing biodiversity and creating focus on how important it is that we make room for the wild nature. When we had laid out the meadow, I always invited my friends out here to see it. And I know it has inspired more of them to think about having a wilder garden for themselves.’
Stinging nettles: ‘Many people are angry about stinging nettles, but they have an important function for our butterflies. They lay their larvae on the stinging nettle and eat of the plant. Although we can burn ourselves on them, I think that all the Danish children know well what they look like and avoid them. And it is actually quite beautiful.‘”
Photos courtesy of the WWF for Nature/J.L/Ejderskov