Promoting wildlife in our own gardens - Bridgwater & Taunton College

There’s often, if not always, something on our ‘to-do’ lists, at work, at home, on the farm, in the garden, on the allotment. Equally, these days some people have so called extensive ‘bucket lists’ or ‘wish lists’ which can be somewhat extreme, time consuming or expensive. I can offer a cheaper, easier and potentially more satisfying option!

My small plea to the readers is please add wildlife gardening to your bucket or wish lists. I recognise that I may be preaching to the converted, but whatever your circumstances please continue to develop, enhance or support the wildlife on your own personal space!

Whatever the size, space or location within your influence there’s always room for improvement. Plant a tree (or many); some species support 100s of insects, notably oak and willow trees. Water is essential for life, so what about a pond? No space? How about a bird bath or drinker with fresh water or maybe even a bird box? Bird boxes are great fun especially with cameras attached to them. Untidy gardens are valuable habitats; leave longer grass and wildflower areas, (give the mower a rest!).

Local conservation organisations and Wildlife Trusts are great starting points if it’s all new to you. If you are an old hand then what about doing some volunteering (or more). How about installing a new wildlife ‘feature’ into your garden, a compost heap, log pile, planting native wildflowers, hedgehog ‘hotels’, revise your bird feeders and contents (what species do you want to attract?). How about building a ‘bug hotel’? Revise your plant collection to attract more insect pollinators.

The internet is a superb resource for those searching for inspiration, ideas and facts. How about learning some Latin names? Do you know your Quercus, Bombus and Tyto (Oak, Bumblebee and Barn Owl)? Do you need a design for a bird box? How about insect or tree identification? With the advent of technology and smart phones, many wildlife and nature guides are available as Apps – go ahead download one!

Gardens, open spaces, the countryside and wildlife, enhance and enrich our lives. Let’s celebrate and support nature where we can and together tick off one or more items from our bucket or wish lists this month!

Are you in a position where you have more spare time available or are thinking about a change of career? How about a part-time or full-time course in Wildlife or Countryside Management? Whatever your learning requirements, we have courses ranging from beginner all the way to professional and university level; Bridgwater College offers a variety of options regardless of whether it is for hobby or career.

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