Wild About Gardens Week takes place in a couple of weeks time (25th – 31st October 2013). Designed to help encourage support for local biodiversity in gardens across the UK, this week, a joint initiative between the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts, highlights just how important it is to ‘think wildlife’ and take steps to make our gardens more wildlife friendly – often with surprisingly little effort, or with little change to the way it looks.
Britain’s wildlife needs our help. Over the past five decades, two thirds of the UK’s plant and animal species have declined in number, for many reasons, including loss of habitat. We see less frogs, hedgehogs and sparrows now, than at one time, and the same goes for many other common garden species that are so important to local biodiversity.
The week will be supported by lots of wildlife-gardening events across the UK, organised by community groups, schools and individuals, and so whether you get involved in one of these, or take your own individual steps to improve biodiversity in your garden, there is always something you can do to help…. even if it’s just ONE thing.
Here’s a few ideas…
– Provide flowers for food! – pollen producing flowers will be heaven to bees, butterflies and other insects. For plant ideas see our ‘Bee Friendly Plants‘
– Grow a range of tree & shrubs (& plant a new tree!) – Larger plants can support more wildlife, so why not plant a new tree to support more wildlife with food and shelter?!
– Compost! Great for wildlife, great for your soil, for your garden plants and great news for landfill! You just need organic material, (greens like weeds and grass cuttings, and browns like dry leaves and shredded newspaper) air and water to make compost.
– Feed the birds, year round – Providing food and water for birds throughout the year is a great way to keep them in your garden. Natural fruit, berries and seeds on your plants will be a big draw, with supplementary feeding in the colder months / through winter hugely important. A supply of (unfrozen) drinking water is just as important.
– Dead wood – a pile of dead wood in a shady spot is the perfect habitat for a range of more specialist wildlife, growing increasingly uncommon in our gardens. A cool retreat in the summer and a site for frost-free hibernation in the winter makes it very attractive. Whether stacked neat and tidy or in a less conventional manner, our garden wildlife don’t mind.
For more great ways to attract wildlife in your garden click here.
P.S- Be in with a chance of winning 500 Crocus bulbs by subscribing to the ‘Wild About Gardens’ e-newsletter! Just click here!