gardening for biodiversity

Local authorities, government, and local and national conservation bodies bear a responsibility for the conservation of biodiversity, but so does the individual.

One quarter of Berkshire has been colonised. A large area of this land are gardens. The opportunity for wildlife becomes clear when you add this to the area of rural Berkshire.

Here are some ideas that you can easily do in your garden to help protect and enhance local wildlife and do your bit towards biodiversity.

  • Encourage native plants (grown from locally produced seed) in suitable grassland areas including gardens, lawns, parks, village greens, churchyards and road verges.
  • Leave some long grass in your lawn for species such as grasshoppers and shrews.
  • Make log piles for beetles in the darker damper corners of your garden.
  • Create a pond
  • Plant native fruiting shrubs
  • Leave some nettles for a range of insects to feed on, including the ladybirds and the peacock butterfly
  • Provide breeding sites for grass snakes in the garden.
  • Install bat and bird boxes.
  • Stop using slug pellets and other harmful substances by switching to more environmentally friendly methods.
  • Recycle household vegetable waste by composting, thus creating a habitat for reptiles and amphibians and also providing valuable garden compost.
  • Use bat friendly chemicals when treating timbers in loft spaces.
  • Where they are safe, preserve old hollow trees containing dead wood. This provides a habitat for birds, invertebrates and bats.
  • Maintain bushy hedgerows such as garden hedges with a high diversity of native shrub and tree species in rural and urban areas.
  • Grow native climbers up fences and walls, as shelter and nest sites for birds and insects.
  • Join or start a churchyard conservation project.
  • Start a parish conservation plan - to promote action for biodiversity in you local area.
  • Provide areas of long grass and wild flowers in "beetle banks" close to vegetable gardens, allotments, etc. These provide a refuge for many beneficial wildlife species.
  • Use home made compost or peat substitutes instead of peat
  • Join a local conservation group. By volunteering you will learn new skills and improve your knowledge of local wildlife. As well as making a real difference to your local area.
  • Support your local Environmental groups, such as BBOWT, BTCV, English Nature