Gardeners in Somerset are being encouraged to support local conservation efforts with the launch of a new Wildlife Gardening project by Somerset Wildlife Trust.
Gardening for Wildlife is all about creating habitats so animals and plants can thrive alongside people. Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape vision of a county rich in wildlife for everyone recognises gardens as an essential part of the network of wildlife corridors that criss-cross the county’s towns, villages and countryside.
With 124,500 gardens in Somerset, covering 19 square kilometres, gardeners have a key role to play in providing more and better connected wildlife habitats. Gardens can also be refuges for some of the county’s threatened species such as the slow worm, grass snake, song thrush and spotted flycatcher.
Penny Richards from the Trust’s Gardening for Wildlife Group said:” Every garden, big or small, is a potential nature reserve. With growing recognition that gardens have a role to play in conservation it’s an inspiring time for gardeners who can make real contribution to protecting local wildlife.”
Penny’s top five tips for Wildlife Gardening in mid-summer:
- Leave an area of lawn uncut until late autumn to benefit many different invertebrates, then introduce some plug plants into the newly cut grass to increase diversity.
- There may be some slugs and snails about now but don’t be tempted to use chemicals. Try some organic methods like putting citrus rinds out as attractants or using seaweed or egg shell around vulnerable plants.
- Make sure there’s always clean water available, ideally in a shallow container to avoid the risk of small mammals drowning.
- Plant some nectar-rich annuals such as pot marigold and poppies along edges of beds and in the vegetable garden. These will help to attract insects such as hoverflies.
- Leave the seedheads of herbaceous perennials wherever possible. These will be invaluable for many bird species
Apply for a plaque before August 5
& we'll enter you into our free prize draw
The Trust’s new online Wildlife Gardening project provides advice and guidance on how to garden in a way that is wildlife friendly; opportunities for sharing photos and ideas; and gardeners can apply to receive a ‘This is a Wildlife Garden’ plaque in recognition of their efforts.
Apply before August 5 and be entered into a free prize draw to win a copy of Wildlife Gardening for Everyone featuring expert advice from the RHS and Wildlife Trusts.
What are you waiting for? Apply for your plaque today