Naomi Webb makes some suggestions for helping your family nurture the wildlife near your home – there are some great ideas to try over the Summer Holidays!
“You might not realise it, but many of our day-to-day activities harm local wildlife. For instance, the cars we drive pollute the environment, the homes we build don’t provide birds with anywhere to nest, and the way we garden adds harsh pesticides and chemicals to the soil and can make animals very unwell. So, it’s not surprising that lots of British species are in decline! If you’d like to protect and save natural wildlife near your home, here’s what you can do…
Learn about endangered species in your area
First, brush up on your knowledge of wildlife and find out which species are under threat in your local area. For example, RPSB have a helpful website full of information and ideas to help you understand what the problem is surrounding wildlife decline and the various ways in which you can help.
Help local birds
Birds are under particular threat in Britain, so do whatever you can to help them in your back garden. For instance, install a bird bath for them to bathe in and drink from, making sure to position it near to hedges and trees so that they can retreat to safety if they sense danger while they’re playing.
Some people recommend putting decorations on your windows to help birds see where they are, preventing accidental collisions. You could also install wild bird feeders to ensure that local birds have a plentiful supply of food all year round, and you might want to consider buying a nesting box to put in your garden so that you can offer them shelter from the wind, rain or scorching sun.
Dig a pond for amphibians
Digging a pond will help to attract wildlife into your garden and give you an opportunity to protect and save amphibians, insects and other animals. You’ll create the perfect habitat for water beetles, newts and toads, and you might even help out bugs such as dragonflies while you’re at it. Just make sure you dig a pond with a sloping surface so that it’s easy for animals to slip in and out of!
Help the hedgehogs
Sadly, hedgehogs are in decline across the UK. This is why Daniel Raven-Ellison, a founder of the Greater London National Park Campaign has called for homeowners to cut a hedgehog-sized hole in their fences to create a “high-speed network for hedgehogs” trying to get from one garden to another. They need to be able to move from one garden to another in order to survive, and they’ll repay you by helping you with your outside chores: hedgehogs are a gardener’s best friend – devouring beetles, earthworms, slugs and snails – all the things that gardeners traditionally use harsh pesticides to get rid of!
These are just a handful of ways that you can help to protect and save wildlife near your home, but it’s worth doing a bit of research to see what else you can do. For instance, find out why it’s a good idea to let a corner of your garden grow wild, or which flowers you should plant to support bees and butterflies.”