Encouraging Nature in the Garden during Lockdown
During the present restrictions now facing all of us, life for many people has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.
The same cannot be said for natures flora and fauna which is now emerging from a particularly miserable, wet and windy winter.
The current fine and dry weather has seen an explosion in growth of wild flowers, trees blossoming, insects awakening from winter hibernation, birdsong and the beginning of the breeding season for our feathered friends. Now is the perfect time to start appreciating the nature that can be observed on our own doorsteps and during our daily exercise routines.
There are many methods and strategies for attracting wildlife to your garden and I will touch on a few here;
Although it is probably a bit late now to put any such boxes up you can still buy or make your own to install in a suitable place. Different birds require different types of box and it is worth doing some research to find out which you would prefer to use. They should be placed in sheltered locations away from busy areas and interference from pet cats.
Put up a bird table and/or a bird feeding station to attract more birds to the garden. Again you may wish to design and make your own or buy one. There is a huge range available along with plenty of choice in different types of foods. Another thing to think about is a bird bath to create further interest.
Grow as many different and varied flowers as possible. They will look great and attract insects as well as providing valuable food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Also consider setting aside an area or filling some pots for wild flowers. A huge variety of seed mixes are to be found online and are worth trying. Your garden will be a riot of colour and fragrance and give great pleasure throughout the coming months.
If you have or can get hold of any untreated dead wood, place it in a pile in a shaded area somewhere. This will be an ideal habitat for small mammals, insects and possibly amphibians.
Bees are also facing a crisis today with the loss of much of their natural habitat and hive attack from Varroa mite and wasps. Bee hotels can be bought or made simply out of easily obtainable materials. Some brilliant examples can be seen in Camborne library (when it reopens) that were made by our Amenities team. The hotels should be placed in full sun facing South, at least 1 metre above ground and secured to a wall, fence or post. This should then attract one or more of the many types of solitary bees to be found in Britain.
Once you have started attracting wildlife into your garden you could then start identifying what you see and possibly record your sightings in a diary or journal. Perhaps you may possess a camera, camcorder or even a trail camera capable of taking good quality images of what you see or you may be able to sketch some drawings. It would be great to see your pictures of garden wildlife so do consider sharing them with us at Camborne Town Council.
Don’t forget that many books, guides and websites are available to help you with identification of any species you may not recognise.
I hope that some or all of these ideas will be of interest and perhaps kickstart an interest in the nature and wildlife to be found all around us.
Steve (Amenities Supervisor)