|Whether you believe in New Year’s resolutions or not, everyone can do their bit to make 2012 a good year for wildlife. With just some tiny changes in your garden, your home or in your local area, or maybe doing something new, you can help make the next year more wildlife friendly.
The Wildlife Trust and The Royal Horticultural Society, together with Dorset Wildlife Trust are reminding people to think of wildlife when making New Year’s resolutions for 2012. Wildlife conservation in gardens is becoming increasingly important as more and more species are becoming endangered.
Easy things you can do to help your local wildlife
Joy Wallis, Community Conservation Officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust, said “Gardens are incredibly important to wildlife; even the smallest garden can be a haven to all kinds of creatures that you wouldn’t imagine ever finding in your flower bed. Gardens also act as stepping stones and corridors for wildlife, connecting isolated woodlands and countryside among more built up urban areas. They also act as perfect pit stops for birds and insects travelling to other places. It doesn’t have to be expensive or hard work to make your garden wildlife friendly, in fact it might mean less work as wildlife loves things a little messy in your garden!”
There are small steps everyone can take to improve your garden for wildlife in 2012. The charities suggest four ideas to attract wildlife:
- Setting up birdfeeders, nest boxes, ladybird lodges and feeding hedgehogs will attract wildlife and are superb ways of getting children interested.
- Stop or limit the use of chemicals in your garden. Many pest and weed killers such as slug pellets and rose sprays are extremely detrimental to much more wildlife than the pests they are targeted for. There are many new eco-friendly products and methods available in stores now that work just as well. Why not let the odd “pest” live in your garden? You will attract more welcome garden visitors who will come to feed on them. Sparrows love aphids!
- For smaller urban gardens, roof terraces or balconies having a window-box with flowering plants such as lavender will attract hoverflies, bees and butterflies. It is recommended to choose plants with the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ logo and to avoid plants with double flowers as these may lack nectar or pollen.
- For households with space, building a pond will provide a rich habitat that attracts lots of different insects and animals. Making a pond, (it does not have to be very big at all) with different depths will encourage a greater range of insects such as dragonflies and water beetles, as well as toads and frogs. Very shallow sloping edges are important this is where the largest variety of pond creatures is found and allows access for small mammals. A pond is also the ideal place for birds to bathe.
If you are planning on making changes for wildlife in 2012, why not go the extra mile and enter the National Big Wildlife Garden competition? Entry is completed online and is free and there are 6 different categories for gardens of all shapes and sizes. Prizes will include a year’s membership of both the Royal Horticultural Society and Dorset Wildlife Trust and a wildlife gardening master class at the Hampton Court Flower Show.
Could your garden be a good example of what others can do?
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is funding the competition, and has appointed The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society to run it. The competition seeks to find some of the best examples of wildlife gardens in the UK, and gardens that will inspire others to take action to turn their gardens into wildlife havens. The competition is open to everybody in the UK, including individuals, communities and businesses.
To enter the National Big Wildlife Garden competition, register your garden and enter the competition at Big Wildlife Garden website.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Joy Wallis at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
About The Wildlife Trusts The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org. There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.
Hedgehog by Steve Davis
Blue tit on feeder by Terry Fisher
Bumblebee by Wildstock