Category Archives: Helping wildlife

Woodland Trust asks one million Britons to plant a tree after government misses targets

The Telegraph reports the Woodland Trust is asking one million people to each plant a tree to fight climate change after the government failed to meet targets.

Today the conservation charity launched its ‘Big Climate Fightback’ campaign after figures showed just 1,420 hectares (3,500 acres) of woodland was created in England last year, far short of the 5,000-a-year (12,000 acres) which was promised. 

Dig a pond (or rewild an old one) and nature will love you for it

Kate Bradbury writes in the Telegraph – My new pond is the heartbeat of the garden. It’s only a few weeks old, the plants are still small and the grass I sowed around the edge is but a five o’clock shadow on its muddy banks. And yet it’s permanently busy: this week I can’t see for house sparrows, and have spent hours laughing at the newly-fledged chicks taking their first bath.

Two blackbirds visit regularly for a drink and a wash, there are robins, goldfinches and tits, plus a huge herring gull that jumps in with an enormous splash and swims around in contented circles.

Photo of wildlife pond at Highdown by Leonora (Ellie) Enking under creative commons.

Hedgehogs get a helping hand to cross busiest roads

The Times reports hedgehogs will soon be able to cross Britain’s highways with a smidgin more confidence as they become the first new animal in 25 years to get their own roadside warning sign.

The creatures will be shown within a red warning triangle at blackspots in an attempt to halt the decline in their numbers and to prevent crashes as drivers swerve to avoid them or motorcyclists skid on roadkill. Previously warning signs were limited to cows, sheep, horses, toads, deer and ducks.

Guildford’s 10 metre tower to help swifts nest

Surrey Live reports that Surrey borough council is looking to use a 10 metre tower to tackle declining numbers of swifts in Shalford.

Guildford Borough Council wants to put the tower near a car park and recreation ground on the junction of Kings Road and Chinthurst Lane in Shalford.

The nesting tower will allow up to 56 pairs of birds to breed and has been designed to look like a piece of artwork.

The number of swifts have declined by 53%, according to the RSPB.

Gardeners urged to let lawns run wild and count flowers to help save bees

The Independent reports while many gardeners prize a well-maintained lawn, conservationists are urging people to leave their mowers in the shed and count wildflowers instead. Wildflower-studded lawns are an increasingly important source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, wildlife charity Plantlife said.

The charity is asking people to take part in a “citizen science” project to count the daisies, dandelions and other blooms on their lawn to help experts work out more precisely how important they are for nature.

Garden feeders are supporting rising numbers of urban birds

The Guardian reports the increasingly appetising buffet provided for garden birds, from sunflower hearts to suet cakes, is supporting a rising number and greater diversity of species in Britain’s urban areas, according to research.

In the 1970s, half of all birds using garden feeders belonged to just two species, the sparrow and starling, but by the 2010s the number of species making up the same proportion had tripled, with goldfinches, woodpigeons and long-tailed tits soaring in number because of the food on offer.

At least half of British homeowners feed garden birds and researchers writing in Nature Communications found they support 133 bird species – more than half of the country’s species – and are reshaping urban bird populations.

National Trust pub becomes first in UK to put carbon footprint by each meal on menu

The Telegraph reports a National Trust pub has become the first in Britain to put the carbon footprint of each meal next to the item on the menu. The greenhouse gas emission calculations were made by Professor Mike Berners-Lee, a leading expert on greenhouse gases, and the brother of World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

Sticklebarn in Cumbria – which is run by the National Trust – made the change earlier this year as part of their pledge to run a sustainable business.

Holland & Barrett bans wet wipes, putting pressure on Boots and Superdrug to follow suit

The I reports The health-food chain has become the first high-street retailer to banish wet wipes from all its branches internationallyHolland & Barrett is to stop selling wet wipes in all its stores, replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives. 

The health-food chain has become the first high-street retailer to banish wet wipes from all its branches internationally, putting pressure on other well known companies such as Boots and Superdrug to introduce similar policies.

‘Bee saviour’ sugar cards could save starving insects

The Guardian reports if you’ve ever felt a pang of pity for a starving bee struggling on the pavement in front of you, then help may soon be at hand. Or more precisely, in your wallet.

A community development worker has invented a credit card-style reviver for bees containing three sachets of sugar solution, which can be placed beside the insect to feed it.

Dan Harris, 40, is now crowdfunding to produce the “Bee Saviour” cards after the success of his prototype, with community groups and businesses in his local city of Norwich, including the Book Hive bookshop and a local pub, pledging to stock the £4 bee revivers.

Each card contains three indentations containing a beekeepers’ formula, secured by foil-backed stickers which can be peeled off.

Photo by Jim Smart under creative commons.