Wildlife Gardening

Common Blue Butterfly by Adam Cormack

Common Blue Butterfly by Adam Cormack

Our own back gardens are often the place where we encounter wildlife most regularly. It will probably be the place where we first come across it whether it be digging up worms (to add to that mud pie) or being engrossed in the antics of ants. Children and adults alike all benefit from being out in a garden and wildlife can benefit from these refuges. The RHS and the Wildlife Trusts have set up a joint website with some great resources on how to improve your garden for wildlife.

The wonderful thing about a garden is that it can be a microcosm of large habitats, they often contain such variety that a plethora of creatures and plants can benefit. Some shrubs, a small pond, flower beds and the compost bin all provide the perfect home for frogs, butterflies, toads, hedgehogs, invertebrates, birds, fungi and so much more.

Below we have a number of Wildlife Trust downloadable guides on how you can improve your garden for wildlife. All are packed full of hints and tips on how to make your garden a wildlife haven!:

 

Have you ever heard of SuDS? SuDS stands for Sustainable Drainage Systems, which can include features such as ponds, wetlands, rain gardens and living walls. It is quickly becoming realised that the use of SuDS is essential to avoid overloading our already strained drainage systems, whilst also improving the conditions of our rivers. You can find out more about wildlife-friendly SuDS schemes and how you could install one on your house or in your garden here.

We can all do our bit for nature in our back gardens and we will provide regular posts here of hints and tips on how you can be a part of the largest network of nature reserves in Wales, in our own back gardens.

Garden News

  • A Winning Garden for Wildlife Commended certificateEvery year for the last four years we have had a garden at the RHS in Cardiff, Lyndsey, our Communications Officer, is a keen but AMATEUR gardener and has designed the garden each time and Gina her partner in crime reckons she often kills her plants. As this year saw our second commendation award it just ...
  • WTSWW at the Cardiff RHS RHS tree by Mel BastierWe will be appearing at the Cardiff RHS again this year, somewhat buoyed by last year's success at the show we, perhaps foolishly, decided to double to size of our garden. This years piece is called The Cwtch, the excellent Welsh word for a cuddle, safe place or a cupboard under the stairs. It was inspired ...
  • Crassula Invasion Paul and Crassula filled pondNot only is this invasive weed at Parc Slip but it is also infesting two out of three remote ponds at our newest west Glamorgan reserve, the Dranges. This job became a priority due to the need to attempt to get the weed under control before the growing season and also because of the pretty heavy ...
  • Frog spawn season; what do you need to know? DSCN1181The onset of the warmer weather in February brought the start of the amphibian breeding season and the welcome appearance of frog and toad spawn in Britain’s ponds. If you are lucky enough to have spawn in your pond, we have a number of pointers for you to help you look after your amphibians. Firstly, you ...
  • The Dangers of Invasive Plants Crassula helmsii by V MatthewsSouth Wales is something of a hotspot for invasive plant species, with Himalayan (Indian) Balsam and Japanese Knotweed rightly getting a lot of the publicity due to their ubiquity. However there is another invasive non-native plant species that is possibly even worse than those due to how difficult it is to remove; Crassula helmsii, sometimes ...
  • Could you be a Welsh Wildlife Hero? WWH_Partner_Logo_Final“Welsh Wildlife Heroes” is a major new project, between The Co-operative Group in Wales and Wildlife Trusts in Wales, established to deliver a programme of activities in Wales using the proceeds raised in The Co-operative’s Food and Pharmacy businesses as a result of the Welsh Government’s 5p Carrier Bag Levy. Some £750,000 will be distributed across ...
  • The Wildlife Trusts’ Guide to a Garden Winter Wonderland Hedgehog_Tom_Marshall-4 In a world that is rapidly losing its green spaces, our gardens are mini wildlife havens that are becoming increasingly important for wildlife. Over winter, when ‘the weather outside is frightful’, there is much you can do to help your garden wildlife survive and even attract new species to your garden. Here are the Wildlife Trust ...
  • Watch out for frogs and toads in your bonfire pile. Common Female Toad by A PriceIt’s that time of year again when we build bonfires, nibble on a toffee apple and make pretty patterns in the air with a sparkler.  We would just like to remind you of the wildlife which could be hiding in your bonfires. In autumn, hedgehogs, frogs, newts and toads search for places to hibernate and piles ...
  • Living Lawns Living lawn yellow pimpernell - L. MaidenThis is the time of year (when the weather permits) that you hear the familiar hum of the lawnmower as thousands of people pull them out from their winter shelter and start the summer pilgrimage round the garden. Perhaps it is a slightly British obsession to have neat bowling green lawns, a sense of respectability created ...
  • Nectar Cafe at the Cardiff RHS A mix of plantsLast year was our first attempt at a garden at the Cardiff RHS and after enjoying the experience we decided to have another garden this year. This year we decided to focus on the importance of pollinators, because they face so many challenges at this time we felt it important to show how you can ...
  • Learning to Love Ivy Wasp feeding on an ivy flower Paul HobsonA much maligned plant, common ivy (Hedera helix) is often thought to be responsible for the death of trees and, as a consequence, is routinely cut back. Ivy is not a parasitic plant however. The fine aerial roots, which people often assume are taking nutrients from trees, are anchors and only penetrate the bark  allowing ...
  • Green Deserts or Verdant Pastures? Wildflower Meadow by Kieron HustonThe great British obsession does sometimes seem to be a lawn. People seem to desire a perfectly manicured green carpet around their house, sadly this can create, what we call, a green desert where nothing really thrives. At this time of year you often hear the mowers roar into life (when the weather is at least ...
  • March – When Wildlife Gardening Comes to Life Native DaffodilAt this time of year the garden springs to life as hidden bulbs burst through the ground and bumblebees emerge and drunkenly fly from flower to flower.With the song thrush singing from 6 in the morning through to 6 in the evening and the surprisingly loud song of the wren bursting from hedges and shrubs ...
  • Invest in a WildLove Nest HedgehogPeople from Cardiff to Aberystwyth are being asked to give love a helping hand between St Dwynwen's and St Valentine's day by the Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society. By providing shelter, food, and wildlife corridors, you can offer space for wild species to come together, and play a vital role for the next generation ...
  • Autumn on Strike Reports of Daffodils Coming into Flower (M J  Clark)The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) have been receiving reports and seeing for themselves some fairly odd sightings for autumn. Whilst our summer visitors have left us and our winter visitors such as fieldfares and redwings have arrived it would seem that not all our wildlife is aware that winter is on the ...
  • Creating a Pond and Bog Ragged robin (L Maiden)This is a great time of year to put a pond or wetland area into your garden. Ponds bring with them a wealth of wildlife, attracting birds and mammals for a drink and creating the perfect habitat for a wide variety of invertebrates and amphibians. A successful pond needs; sloping sides to ensure hedgehogs do not ...
  • Create a Nectar Cafe Buff Tailed Bumble Bee by Vicky NallInsects are vital  in the garden. The hoverfly young often feed off aphids, making them particularly useful as pest control, whilst many insects help ensure you have seeds or fruit from your plants. Even if they did not provide a useful function we would miss the hum of bees and the beauty of butterflies and ...
  • Planting a Hedgerow hawthorn berries by L MaidenAutumn is a great time of year to be thinking about planting a hedge. The new plants (preferably bare rooted and locally sourced) will be dormant in the next few weeks and should bed in well. Planting a hedgerow is a real investment into the future, as it develops it will provide food and shelter for ...
  • Help the Bugs in October 7 Spot Ladybird on Fern by Zsuzsanna Bird Insects are an important part of any ecosystem. Without them we would not have anything to pollinate our flowers, they provide food for our birds and mammals, they even help keep each other in check. We should be encouraging bugs of all kinds into our gardens. In October pond skaters, whirlygigs and water boatmen can still ...
  • October in the Garden Autumn leaves Chris MaguireVivid colours are spreading amongst the trees, as leaves take on shades of gold, red and brown. Fungi are sprouting on lawns, trees, rotting wood and anywhere else they can. The weather is cooler and probably wetter, perhaps the occasional frost or hail shower announces that winter approaches. But for now there should still be ...
  • Enter the Joint RHS and Wildlife Trusts Garden Competition Robin by Jon HawkinsEnter our Big Wildlife Garden competition! Entry is free, and prizes will include a year’s membership of both the Royal Horticultural Society, and your local Wildlife Trust, plus attendance at a wildlife gardening masterclass at the Hampton Court Flower Show. Sarah Raven, gardener, writer and television presenter, will be on the BWG competition judging panel. What you ...
  • WTSWW and BTO Wildlife Garden Conference in Cardiff Swallow (Hirundo rustica) c_David_MartinThe British Trust for Ornithology and WTSWW have organised a joint Garden Wildlife Conference will be held on Saturday 22nd October 2011 in the prestigious Main Building at Cardiff University. To book please download Cardiff BTO/WTSWW conference booking form and return by 14th October 2011 to: Garden Ecology Team, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 ...
  • Cardiff Wildlife Garden Survey – 6.7.2011 Slow Worm by Bruce ShortlandCardiff Garden Wildlife Revealed Have you ever checked at the bottom of your garden for hedgehogs? Or snuck a peek in your compost bins for slow worms? Well your local Wildlife Trust in south and west Wales are asking you to do just that. In a new survey for 2011 the Wildlife Trust of South and West ...