Place to play in the night gar­den

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

WITH the year now rac­ing to­wards warmer weather – hope­fully – we are all plan­ning our gar­dens for spring and sum­mer.

At the Wildlife Trust we are clear­ing, plant­ing and cop­pic­ing, pro­vid­ing safe havens for our an­i­mals, birds and in­sects.

Ponds and rivers are be­ing cleared so that fish and amphibians can thrive.

It is a bit strange that much of the wildlife we are pro­tect­ing is sim­ply there to pro­vide din­ner for crea­tures higher up the food chain.

take on board a lot of ad­vice from our of­fi­cers and try things out in my own gar­den, so that have wild ar­eas and log piles for wildlife to in­habit through­out the colder months and into the spring.

One thing that has given me most plea­sure in re­cent years is work­ing on

IIa night gar­den so moths and other night-roam­ing in­sects have some­where to play.

Flow­ers that re­lease their scent in the evening are great for bring­ing life into your gar­den at night.

Plant lilac or pur­ple bud­dleia, evening prim­rose and honey­suckle and you will not only have in­sect dis­plays in the evening but a won­der­fully sweet smell ev­ery time you open the back door.

Bud­dleia brings in the but­ter­flies dur­ing the day, and the va­ri­ety ‘white pro­fu­sion’, with its lu­mi­nous flow­ers, looks lovely in the moon­light. Evening prim­rose and honey­suckle at­tract in­sects with their dis­tinc­tive smell and they are colour­ful dur­ing the day

The flow­er­ing sylvestris tobacco plant is a mag­net for moths be­cause of its scent. In my gar­den the ver­bena stands tall – about two feet – and at­tracts lots of but­ter­flies and bees dur­ing the day and moths at night to its pur­ple flow­ers.

At the mo­ment last year’s long, hol­low stems are pro­vid­ing shel­ter for in­sects in win­ter. Th­ese will pro­vide food for birds, other in­sects and spi­ders in sum­mer.

A good guide is the Be­gin­ner’s Top 20 on the UK Moths web­site (uk­moths.org.uk).

Then you can tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween an ele­phant hawk moth, a swallow-tailed moth and a gar­den tiger.

Of course, if you are fright­ened of moths (come on, even the big­gest are only a cou­ple of inches long) you might pre­fer to or­gan­ise your gar­den for day­time creepy-crawlies. To sup­port the work of he Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side text WILD09 with the amount you want to do­nate to 70070. To be­come a mem­ber of the Trust go to the web­sitet at www.lanc­swt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

. For in­for­ma­tion about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewil­dlifetrust. org.uk.

● Ele­phant Hawk Moth is ac­tive in your● night ar­den g

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