Welcoming wildlife into your garden
Image by John Lindley
South Stoke Open Gardens 2022: Self Guided Wildlife Tour
Did you have fun ticking off the list of ten ideas of special wildlife interest in the gardens?
• Pond: even a small pond is a great habitat for many insects, plants and amphibians. Dragonflies, beetles, frogs, newts and toads can all take up residence. Ponds also provide drinking water for birds and mammals.
• Wildflower and rough areas: pollen and nectar havens for pollinators as well as cover for insects, mammals and birds.
• Native hedges and trees: provide pollen, nectar for pollinators, and food and cover for insects, mammals and birds.
• Log piles: rotting wood offers nutrition and habitat for many insects, including stag beetles. South Stoke has a good population of those!
• Bee hotels: provide breeding sites for some of the hundreds of species of solitary bees in the UK. So far, we’ve spotted 39 of them in South Stoke. If you don’t fancy building a bee hotel, leaving hollow stemmed plants over winter will achieve the same end result!
• Hedgehog openings: hedgehogs roam across several kilometres, and need access to lots of gardens. An opening 125mm in diameter (the size of a CD) is all it takes!
• Native, near-native and other pollinator-friendly flowering plants: provide nectar and pollen for our essential pollinators.
• Bird boxes and feeders: help our declining population of birds by providing nesting sites and, especially through the winter months, food.
• Compost heap: conserves carbon and provides wonderful nutrients to feed the soil. Also provides a habitat for millions of insects and a breeding site for hedgehogs, grass snakes and slow worms.
• ..and finally, things to avoid: don’t use chemicals and don’t make things too tidy!
In 2022 the SS open gardens raised money for Brainstorm. Find out more about the charity at https://www.brainstormcharity.co.uk/