The Guardian reports now is the perfect time to boost the biodiversity of any outside space you have – whether by buying your cat a bell or ditching the insecticides.
Photo by Jim Smart under creative commons.
Inews reports spending time in the garden is so therapeutic that it’s as good for your mental and physical health as living in a very wealthy area, according to a study published in the Landscape and Urban Planning journal. People who regularly spend time in the garden are significantly more likely to report general good health, higher psychological wellbeing and greater physical activity levels than those who don’t.
Photo of RHS Chelsea Garden Show 2014 by Karen Roe under creative commons.
The Telegraph reports the coronavirus crisis has forced most of us to stay at home, and those of us with gardens are making hay while the sun shines. So, with so much extra time at home, why don’t we all do a bit more for wildlife? If you’ve been meaning to make a hedgehog house or a bee hotel, dig a pond or plant a wild flower meadow, there’s never been a better time. Get your children involved and teach them and yourself to identify bees and recognise birdsong.
The Express and Star reports mowing the lawn just once a month – and leaving some areas to grow long – provides a huge boost to flowers, bees and other wildlife, experts have said. The “Mohican” haircut approach to mowing is being recommended by wildlife charity Plantlife, after a citizen survey of lawns revealed they can support 200 different flowers and generate huge amounts of nectar for wildlife.
The Metro reports artificial grass creates a ‘desert’ and should be removed to help wildlife, experts have said. The fake turf is becoming a common sight around the UK, chosen by many because it requires little maintenance. But it is doing harm to the insects, birds and other wildlife that live here and have seen their habitat shrink.
Top photo of artificial grass by Perfect Grass under creative commons. Bottom photo of natural grass in a Normandy garden.
The BBC report that for many of us trapped in our homes during the coronavirus outbreak, our gardens offer sanctuary.
But what plants, insects and animals can we expect to see at this time of year? And how can we help everything flourish?
Nick Acheson, from Norfolk Wildlife Trust, filmed this report from his back garden explaining what to look out and what to do as spring comes into full swing.
The Telegraph report hedgehogs are dying because people are leaving netting out in their gardens, the RSPCA has warned.
The leading animal charity says that dozens of the small, spikey mammals have become entangled in football, badminton and pond nets causing fatal injuries and urged people to pack their equipment away.
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.
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.
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.