Give nature a home in your garden
THE RSPB is calling on people to get involved in ‘Giving Nature a Home’ this summer by doing at least one thing for wildlife in their garden or outdoor space - after new data revealed further declines in sightings of some of our most familiar and favourite garden species.
Results from a recent survey showed only 19 per cent of people in Greater Manchester spotted a hedgehog snuffling around their garden at least once a month, 18 per cent fewer than in 2014.
Hedgehog populations are in a long-term decline with the latest figures suggesting that the UK population has dipped to under one million.
UK gardens cover an estimated ten million acres, an area equivalent to the size of five million football pitches. Each green space can make a difference, from a window box full of pollen rich plants for bumblebees to a small pond hosting a whole range of different species.
With the right care and attention your garden could become a home to many different species, and you could have a front row seat to some amazing wildlife shows. It’s interesting to see a rise in the number of people recording sightings of some of our struggling garden wildlife – and although this isn’t suggesting population changes, it could mean that people are becoming much more aware of the species that can find a home in their back garden.
Readers’ emails to this column would certainly back this up, with videos, just in the last few weeks of deer, badgers and owls, and photographs of hedgehogs, foxes and butterflies, all from around Glossop.
The results revealed that foxes were the third most popular visitor with 39 per cent of people in Greater Manchester catching one in their garden at least once a month this year.
Stoats however, are a very elusive species with less than one per cent spotting one on a monthly basis.
Grey squirrels remained the most common garden visitor in Greater Manchester for the third year running, with 88 per cent of participants spotting one scurrying across their garden at least once a month.
To help people create their own wildlife friendly garden, the RSPB launched a new online tool this week - www.rspb. org.uk/plan - that will help you build your own personalised plan for nature.
The plan will be unique to the individual and not only target your favourite species, but the wildlife that is struggling in your particular part of the country.
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop
●● Red fox