Author: Rose Revera

April- My Wild Garden Year

Make a deadwood garden My Wild Garden Year

For this month’s My Wild Garden Year challenge, make a deadwood garden to create shelter for invertebrates, Hedgehogs and Wrens. 

 

Log piles are a great good creature feature to add to your garden. They will provide areas for shelter and food for many different species, including amphibians, Hedgehogs, lizards and invertebrates such as beetles. Fungi and lichens will also quickly colonise the dead wood.

1. Collect together logs and sticks of various different shapes, sizes and species of tree.
2. Find a shady area of the garden.
3. Pile them together. You can be as neat or as messy as you like as long as you create lots of cracks and crevices for wildlife to crawl into!

You can get more instructions for creating creature features by clicking this link and the pictures below, as well as more hints and tips for wildlife gardening in April.

Don’t forget to send us your pictures on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject title ‘My Wild Garden Year.

Ebrill Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt   April My WIld Garden Year

March- My Wild Garden Year

Create a compost heap my wild garden year

For this month’s My Wild Garden Year challenge, create a wildlife-friendly compost heap for the Hedgehogs, Slow Worms and Invertebrates in your garden. 

A compost heap is a great way of getting rid of your kitchen and garden waste, whilst creating food for your garden and a home for wildlife at the same time. Invertebrates such as beetles and worms will feed on the decaying matter, which in turn will attract Slow Worms, Hedgehogs and Toads.

1. Choose a sunny spot as this will help the compost rot down more rapidly.
2. Buy a ready-made container or make one from recycled pieces of timber. Try to have a few gaps in the side of your bin which will allow wildlife such as Slow Worms in and out. Make sure it has a waterproof lid.
3. Anything green can be put in your compost heap – weeds, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, paper. Avoid putting in cooked food which will attract rodents, or ash and faeces which will change the condition of the compost.
4. The compost will be ready when it looks dark brown and earthy.

You can get more instructions for creating compost bins by clicking this link and the pictures below, as well as more hints and tips for wildlife gardening in March.

Don’t forget to send us your pictures on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject title ‘My Wild Garden Year.

 

Mawrth Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt    March My Wild Garden Year

February- My Wild Garden Year

Make a bumblebee nest, My Wild Garden Year

For this month’s My Wild Garden Year challenge, we would like you to create an artificial nesting site for queen bumblebees in your garden.

Early in the spring, generally from March onwards depending on the weather, Queen Bumblebees will emerge from hibernation to feed and look for places to build their nests. They use structures like old vole or mouse nests. You can help them by leaving some early Dandelions in the garden to provide an essential early source of nectar and by building a bumblebee nest by following these instructions:

1. Find a dry and sheltered sunny area in the garden to site your nest. On a bank is ideal as this will be well drained but if this isn’t possible, use a flowerbed or the bottom of a hedge.
2. Get a clay flowerpot, of a depth of 20cm or deeper and half-fill it with nesting material, such as shredded paper, dry grass or straw.
3. Attach a 5cm length of hosepipe (25-30mm wide) to the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
4. Bury the pot upside-down in the soil, so that the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot is facing upwards and the entrance to the hosepipe is poking out of the soil.
5. Add a 10cm tall upright stick near to the entrance to the hose pipe. This will help you remember where it is and will also be used by the bumblebees later in the summer to find their way back to the nest.

You can get more instructions for creating artificial bumblebee nest boxes by clicking this link and the pictures below, as well as more hints and tips for wildlife gardening in February.

Don’t forget to send us your pictures on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject title ‘My Wild Garden Year.

Chwefror Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt       February My Wild Garden Year

My Wild Garden Year- Introduction

My Wild Garden Year My Wild Cardiff Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

Did you know that in the UK, there is more land managed as gardens than all the nature reserves across the UK put together? Imagine what a difference we could make for UK wildlife if everyone did gardened with wildlife in mind.

As you probably know, wildlife across the UK is struggling. And sadly, this includes garden wildlife. Studies conducted in 2017 indicate that Hedgehogs have declined by as much as 40% in the last decade [1]. The State of UK Butterflies Report 2011 revealed that ‘common’ garden butterflies had declined by 24% in the last decade [2]. Garden birds have also been hit, for example, HouseSparrows declined by 150 million birds in the past 35 years [3].

So how can you help? There are lots of wildlife friendly features that you can add to your garden to make life just a bit easier for your wildlife neighbours.

This year, we challenge you to make 2018 the year you create a wildlife garden. Each month, we will issue a new challenge to create a particular wildlife feature in your garden/ allotment or wild space. We’d then like you to show us what you have created.

Challenges will be announced on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram on the first Friday of each month, and instructions will be found on this page, so be sure to check back for information and instructions.

January- My Wild Garden Year

Put Up Bird Boxes, My Wild Garden Year

For this month’s My Wild Garden Year challenge, we would like you to put up nest boxes for birds in your garden.

Many garden birds nest or roost in hollow trees and holes in trees. Unfortunately, these days most old and lying trees and branches, which offer the best nesting and roosting sites, are routinely cut down and removed. This leaves fewer places for birds to set up homes and raise families. Specially constructed nest boxes imitate the holes and cavities in
dead standing wood that are usually cleared away. A bird box can be a real help to garden birds – an estimated 2 million fledglings are reared in nest boxes each year. And it’s a wonderful feeling to see a blue tit or robin investigating a nest box that you made and put up yourself. What’s more, building bird boxes is straightforward and easy – no special carpentry skills are needed.

You can get full instructions for putting up bird boxes by clicking this link and the pictures below, as well as more hints and tips for wildlife gardening in January.

Don’t forget to send us your pictures on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject title ‘My Wild Garden Year.

      Ionawr Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt

Who’s up for a challenge?!

Building the pop up garden

Although we’ve still got mince pies to eat and silly festive hats to wear, we are already looking forward to 2018 and the New Years Resolutions we are going to make.

As you probably know, wildlife across the UK is struggling. And sadly, this includes garden wildlife. Studies conducted in 2017 indicate that Hedgehogs have declined by as much as 40% in the last decade. The State of UK Butterflies Report 2011 revealed that ‘common’ garden butterflies had declined by 24% in the last decade. Garden birds have also been hit, for example, House Sparrows declined by 150 million birds in the past 35 years.

Next year we are going to make a New Years Resolution to create a wildlife garden and we challenge you to join in too! We would like you to join us each month of 2018 to create a new feature for wildlife in your garden and we will be here to guide you every step of the way.

On the first of each month, a new challenge will be announced on this page and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram streams. All you have to do to join in is sign up on this page , follow our social media streams if you are on them, complete each challenge and send us photos of you completing the challenge to us on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject line ‘My Wild Garden Year’

Those who complete all the challenges (or show us proof that you already have that particular feature in the garden) within the course of the year will be entered into a prize draw this time next year.

So look out for the first challenge announcement on New Years Day on our webpage or social media. Hint- the first challenge will involve creating a home for your feathered friends!

Grazing Returns to the South Gower Coast

Dexters Gower Meadow Beef Overton Mereb

Our Overton Mere Nature Reserve on the South Gower Coast, is a very special place. The reserve is of national importance for the assemblage of calcareous grassland plants it supports, such as Spring Squill, Autumn Ladies-Tresses and Hoary Rock Rose.

But this special habitat is under threat from lack of grazing. Grazing is essential for the maintenance of species-rich wildlife habitats by controlling aggressive and invasive species, sustaining open and wooded habitats and creating gaps for new species to germinate.

The calcareous grassland habitat at Overton Mere is slowly but surely being overrun with Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus) and staff and volunteers are starting to lose the battle with this tenacious shrub.

This winter, for the first time in 35 years, we have brought in extra troops in the form of a small herd of ponies and cattle!

A partnership formed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Natural Resources Wales, PONT (Pori Natur a Threftadaeth), Nature and Heritage, Gower Meadow Beef, Tor Coed Welsh Mountain Ponies and the National Trust have worked together to install the infrastructure to support grazing animals on Overton Mere once again.

And so in early December, we released some Welsh Mountain Ponies and hardy Dexter cattle out on the Mere to start work!

We are really excited to see grazing back on the South Gower Coast and are looking forward to monitoring the effects of their hard work during wildflower surveys over the next few years.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul

Make your own Festive Bird Feeders!

Bird Feeder Wreath Wildlife Trust

At this cold time of year, it’s very important to keep feeding your garden birds to help them survive the winter. This year, why not make these festive bird feeders for your own garden and to give as Christmas presents?

They are easy to make and so pretty- and the birds will appreciate them most of all!

Ingredients

Festive Bird Feeder Ingredients Rose Revera

 100g plain flour

120ml warm water

Three tablespoons honey

One 12g package of unflavoured gelatin

Approximately 300g of bird food (why not buy from Vine House Farm and support the Wildlife Trusts!)

Dried fruit for decoration

Moulds

Nonstick cooking oil

 

Method

  • Start by mixing the gelatin and water together in a mixing bowl until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
  • Whisk in the honey and flour until the mixture is nice and thick. If you think it needs to be a bit thicker, stick it in the fridge for a short time to cool it down.
  • Stir the bird seed into the thickened mixture. It will begin to get quite tough to stir but make sure it is all evenly mixed!
  • When it’s all well stirred, spray your moulds with nonstick vegetable cooking oil and clingfilm too for big moulds. This will make them easier to get out of the moulds when set.
  • Put some dried fruit in the bottom of the moulds for decoration.
  • Spoon the seed mixture into the moulds on top of the decorative dried fruit, making sure it is well pressed down into the mould.
  • Pop the moulds into the fridge for half an hour or until set.
  • Turn the moulds out on to some greaseproof paper and leave the decorations to dry for a few days, turning them over every so often.
  • Hang them up in the garden and enjoy watching the birds!

You can download a pdf guide to print off at home and have a go yourself.

My Wild Garden Year- a month by month guide to wildlife gardening

My Wildlife Garden Year Cover

We have produced a month by month guide to wildlife gardening, to enable you to know how to create and maintain a wildlife garden no matter the time of year! No matter what time of year, we have some tips and tricks for you to help you look after the wildlife in your garden. Simply click on the relevant month below to download a PDF guide for that month.

You can also get your hands on a FREE copy of the pack by popping into our Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, coming along to some of our Cardiff events or send an A4 Stamped Addressed Envelope along to My Wild Garden Year, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, The Nature Centre, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend CF32 0EH (include a note indicating that it’s for a My Wild Garden Year pack).

The My Wild Cardiff project is generously supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

English:

January My Wild Garden Year  February My Wild Garden Year  March My Wild Garden Year  April My WIld Garden Year  May My Wild Garden Year  June My Wild Garden Year  July My Wild Garden Year  August My Wild Garden Year  September My Wild Garden Year  October My Wild Garden Year  November My Wild Garden Year  December My Wild Garden Year

Cymraeg:

Ionawr Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Chwefror Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Mawrth Fy Flwyddyn Gardd GwylltEbrill Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Mai Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Mehefin Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Gorfennaf Mehefin Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Awst Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Medi Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Hydref Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Tachwedd Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt  Rhagfyr Fy Flwyddyn Gardd Gwyllt

Watch our video about the Cardiff Pop-up Wildlife Garden

Hannah in My WIld Garden Pop-up Garden Cardiff

If you missed coming along to our pop-up wildlife garden which we created in Bute Park this summer, then fear not! We’ve created the following video so you can see the process of building the garden and what the finished garden looked like. It included a green roof, a pond, a compost bin and plenty of nectar-rich plants for pollinators! See if you can spot them in the video, as well as our friendly wildlife that visited the garden.

Over 1000 adults and 300 kids visited the garden in the two weeks we were open to be inspired and educated about wildlife gardening. If you’d like to know more about creating wildlife-friendly features in your garden, you can visit this page on our website or the RHS and Wildlife Trusts Wild About Gardens website, which is full of brilliant information.

We have also produced a FREE wildlife gardening education pack, called ‘My Wild Garden Year’, a month-by-month guide to creating and maintaining a wildlife garden. You can get your free copy by calling into our Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, coming along to some of our Cardiff events or dropping us an email with the subject ‘My Wild Garden Year’ (small donation required to cover Postage and Packaging).

The My Wild Cardiff project is generously supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

‘My Wild Garden Year’ – a new publication by the Wildlife Trust

My Wildlife Garden Year Cover

We are really excited that thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we have been able to produce a month by month guide to creating and maintaining your own wildlife garden, called ‘A Wildlife Garden Year’.

You can get a FREE copy by coming along to our events in Cardiff, popping in to Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre or send an A4 Stamped Addressed Envelope along to My Wild Garden Year, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, The Nature Centre, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend CF32 0EH (include a note indicating that it’s for a My Wild Garden Year pack).

You can also download a copy in English or Welsh.

My Wildlife Garden Year Cover

My Wild Cardiff, My Wild Life- Colin

Colin in the pond My Wild Garden

During the building of our pop-up wildlife garden earlier in the summer, supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we had some wonderful volunteers join us. Our volunteers were essential, helping us to build the garden, then manning the garden when it was open to talk to visitors and educate them to learn more about wildlife gardening.

One of our newest volunteers, Colin, said, ‘It’s been great fun building the garden, it’s been an education, and I’ve met lots of good people with similar interests to me.’

We have opportunities for volunteering in Cardiff over the winter- we will be holding fortnightly coppicing sessions at Coed y Bedw Nature Reserve. Contact Vaughn if you are interested in helping.

My Wild Life - Colin