A Cry for the Wild by Holly Gillibrand

Holly Gillibrand

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Gardening for wildlife

In the environmental community, there is not a lot of good news.

Many species are endangered and teetering on the edge of extinction, wild spaces are destroyed in favour of new parking spaces and housing and the modern farming practice of using pesticides is sending our pollinating insects – the very things that keep life on this planet from collapsing into chaos – into steep decline.

But there is still hope.

Putting out bird feeders in your garden will provide food for charismatic blue tits, social starlings and elegant woodpeckers, to name a few.

Planting borders of bushes and trees will provide homes for birds like house sparrows and blackbirds.

Let your grass grow long or plant wild flowers to encourage pollinating insects that we rely on for our survival.

An azure hawker dragonfly would love to visit your garden if conditions are right.

Even if you only set aside a small corner, the wildlife would really appreciate it.

Picturesque peacocks, elegant red admirals, dainty tortoiseshells, our small fluttering friends and waving wildflowers can light up a garden.

To help hedgehogs, collect leaves under hedgerows and create log piles to provide our bumbling little garden visitors with a sanctuary where they can hibernate through the winter and nest in summer.

Cut little square holes in your fence to allow hedgehogs to move from garden to garden.

The list of inexpensive, rewarding, wildlife friendly activities is endless.

You could build a pond for frogs, dragonflies and aquatic wild flowers, making sure there is a way out so that land-designed animals, such as hedgehogs, don’t fall in and drown.

Put up bird boxes for swifts, house martins, bats, owls and, if you are lucky, a pine marten may take up residence in a specially-made den. Then sit back and watch the drama unfold.

There is so much a single person can do to help urban and rural wildlife. Imagine the positive impact we could make if everyone joined together to do a little bit for our wild animals.

Another thing you could do is not use garden chemicals, for example, weedkiller.

Helping our wildlife is so rewarding, entertaining and is even proven to reduce stress. So get gardening for nature.