(Above) David Burton (below) David's garden
A bit about David
David Burton is Head of Innovation at Redweb, a Bournemouth-based (and award winning) digital agency as well as being a keen member of Dorset Wildlife Trust. As you might expect, David is inventive and great at designing stuff. But he's also very keen on wildlife and has been amazed by how many natural visitors are coming along to enjoy his small garden.
What kind of wildlife have you spotted in your garden?
David: I only have a small garden, but I've been really surprised about the amount of wildlife I've seen making use of it. Our bird feeders are constantly busy, I've lost count of the number of species I've seen from the living room window now. It's been great to see species up close that I've not seen before, such as Blackcaps, Goldcrests, and Siskins.
The Jackdaws are one of my favourites, they're always busy playing or getting up to mischief, they look so smart and elegant. We've also had Starlings use our nest box early in the year and when they had finished a pair of Swifts moved in and raised their young
We've also seen mice and voles, they like cleaning up under the bird feeders. Newts, slow worms and hedgehogs have put in an appearance or two. Lately we've seen hummingbird hawk-moths and hornets on the last flowers of the year.
Being a keen trout fisherman, I find it really interesting when mayflies and sedges drift over from the nearby river. I'm always looking into our garden's spider webs to see what other aquatic insects might be flavour of the month.
Gardening is good for wildlife, but why do you think it is important for people?
David: I've never really done much gardening before. I found it tricky to know exactly what I should be doing, and more difficult to find the time to do it. Now I'm taking a wildlife focused approach to gardening I'm enjoying it immensely, and those difficulties and stresses have subsided.
Our garden is now an enjoyable, hugely relaxing, and soothing place that changes and unfolds at it's own pace. It's made me feel more in touch with nature and the passing seasons. It slows and calms me down, while always being entertaining and quietly opening my eyes and mind to new things.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust campaign, Make Wildlife Welcome, is all about doing something extra for wildlife, with whatever outside space is available to you. What is the most unlikely place you have used to benefit wildlife?
David: This summer we rarely mowed our lawn, and left the surrounding grass borders even longer. It was due to not finding the time at first, then putting it off, but it soon took on a life of it's own. It looked a little wild at times, but it was very varied and pretty and a big hit with bees, butterflies and moths.
The 2013 State of Nature Report states that 60% of UK species are in decline. We're suggesting that the 15 million gardens in the UK can help tip the balance if we use them wisely. But this is a huge challenge. How can one person with a small garden really believe that they can do something to help?
David: We've been amazed at the wildlife activity in our tiny plot, so obviously every little bit helps in a big way. But our garden is just one small piece in a patchwork of gardens and open space.
If everyone set aside a corner for wildlife then this patchwork could be more connected and widespread. Put up a bird feeder and watch what happens, you'll soon see what impact small gestures can have.
Why should people join the campaign to Make Wildlife Welcome?
David: Our garden has become a key part of our home and also in our lives. The time we put into making wildlife welcome has been extremely satisfying. With very little work it's like having your own nature reserve, one that reveals it's secrets just to you and your family.
Would you like to become one of our Make Wildlife Welcome heroes and join us to help garden wildlife?
We'd love you to be part of our campaign to make wildlife welcome in garden's throughout Dorset. There's a special pack of goodies for non-members (and a members only starter pack) plus we'll be providing tips to help you realise your wildlife gardening dreams. Find out more here