Wildlife campaigner Chris Packham and SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards have joined forces to try to encourage people to help wildlife in urban habitats.
The duo have released ten tips for people living in urban areas which can help contribute to wildlife growth.
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Joining up with The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust, RSPB and National Lottery Heritage Fund, Packham and Edwards are acting in response to the State of the Nature 2019 report, which showed that 41 per cent of species studied have declined since 1970.
Despite considerable investment from the National Lottery on conservation, public parks and more, wildlife is still facing pressures. New research by the National Lottery shows that many people want to do more to help wildlife, but over a quarter of people asked said they do not have enough time. Nearly a fifth said they don’t know what to do to help wildlife.
Packham said “As a society, we’re more aware than ever of the need to protect natural habitats and many of us are rightly alarmed that some of our most beloved species in the UK are in decline simply because of the destruction of their habitats – from bumblebees, to hedgehogs. But this new research shows that, while we want to do more to protect our wildlife, lots of people don’t know what practical steps they can take in their daily lives to help.”
The ten things you can do to help nature in your garden
Fill your garden with plants
The more plants the better, as they offer food and shelter and are the foundation for every wildlife-friendly garden. Try to focus on pollen-rich flowers to attract pollinators.
Create a pond
One of the best ways of attracting wildlife. Even a tiny container pond can attract wildlife. Do be careful with safety, however and ensure there are margins or ramps to allow wildlife to get in and out.
Open your garden or balcony as a bird cafe
Bird feeders and water in a shallow container will attract the birds. Don’t forget to clean the feeders regularly to avoid disease.
Cherish your dead matter
Dead wood or stick piles provide homes for 20 per cent of Britain’s woodland insects.
Open up wildlife highways
Cut doorways at the base of fences so that frogs, hedgehogs and toads can get from one garden to the next.
Don’t hurt the wider world with your gardening
Avoid peat-based composts and try to limit your carbon footprint and water use. Read our piece on how to reduce plastic use.
Grow your plants in containers to maximise space
If you have limited space or a balcony, growing in containers is an excellent way to encourage wildlife.
Build a bug hotel
Create a multi-storey wildlife hotel from natural materials that provides holes for creatures to hide in.
Join a community group in your area
Volunteering for a local wildlife group is an excellent way to learn about wildlife in public spaces.
Plant a tree
Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife and many different species. Read our article on how to plant a tree.