Wild About Gardens Week, 26th October – 1st November 2015
Summer is over. The children’s paddling pool is packed away for another year, the grass has (almost) stopped growing, and one day, probably tomorrow, you plan to finally get around to cleaning the barbecue before tucking it away in the shed for the winter.
But all is not quiet and inactive in our backyard plots; whether you have a window box or an allotment, a vast meadow or a lawn that doubles up as a children’s football pitch, whilst you tuck up indoors with a hearty stew in front of Downton Abbey or Strictly, and draw the curtains early to shut out the dark evenings, life continues to make the most of your outside green space – wild life that is!
This coming week 26th October – 1st November 2015 is the third annual national Wild About Gardens Week, led by the Wildlife Trusts and the RHS, providing advice and encouragement to us all to consider and take action on improving our gardens for wildlife. This year there is a particular focus on hedgehogs with the Wildlife Trusts and RHS being joined by Hedgehog Street. Even if you don’t have hedgehogs to help, our personal green spaces support all sorts of wildlife from bees to toads to birds, so there is bound to be something you can do to give nature a helping hand!
Beyond our garden hedges, out in the countryside our wildlife is struggling. Loss of habitat, intensive pressures on land from agriculture and development, and climate change, are all having effects and contributing to population declines of many of our well-loved species, and most of the less well known too!
But all is not lost; part of the answer could be right under our noses! Our gardens put together cover a far greater area of the UK than all the nature reserves combined, and as pressure in the rural landscape builds, a growing variety of wildlife is increasingly making their homes alongside us, in our gardens!
For those who care about the plight of out wildlife (and lets face it, that should be everybody, because after all if we loose the bees, they are taking us with them!), this provides a real opportunity to make a difference. Imagine if everyone with any green space, from a flowerpot or a communal garden to a backyard or a vegetable patch, did just one thing for nature in his or her patch. The accumulated result would be enormous. Now imagine just half of those people did two things, or three… our ‘National Connected Garden Wildlife Reserve’ is growing exponentially!