Sunday, 8 February 2009

My Wildlife Garden

A couple of weeks ago I chanced upon an episode of the BBC's Wild About Your Garden... What a fabulously inspirational programme it is. The basic premise is that presenter Nick Knowles, garden designer Chris Beardshaw and wildlife specialist Ellie Harrison transfer ordinary garden's into wildlife havens and so far they've managed to attract water voles, badgers and red squirrels. Although I am pretty sure that our garden is not in an area where it will attract much more than birds and insects, I've found the series so far really useful. There are six episodes in total and the BBC seem to be cycling them on a permanent rotation so it should be easy to catch them if you are interested.

Reading through some reference materials online, I've been amazed at the difference adding in some really easy to obtain plants are and will be implementing several of the suggestions I've seen. I've added a short list of the sites I have found most useful at the bottom but I am sure there are plenty more out there. I have plans for adding a(t least one) small native tree to our terraced garden as well as planting some shrubs/climbers specifically to provide a food source for insects which will, I hope, entice more birds in my direction. I'm really excited about this as I was wondering what to do as the garden was due a refresh this spring following some building work leaving a couple of muddy patches that need filling.

Useful Links:
BBC Breathing Places -They've got a range of really simple ideas that would make a huge difference to even the smallest space.
RSPB's A-Z of a Wildlife Garden - This was the most useful site I found in terms of identifying specific plants to support bird and insect life.
My Wildlife Friendly Garden - This site really inspired me as Sheila has a courtyard that's even smaller than my garden yet manages to attract a great range of wildlife into her space.
Natural England - They provide (free) useful pdf documents on a range of topics. They also provide a massive online database of creatures and the plants they rely on that helped to narrow down my list of plants!

Now that I am the proud possessor of every type of bird food and dispenser known to (wo)man, I await delivery of a copy of Collins Complete Guide to British Wildlife and the arrival of some more little friends...

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