Allotment Diaries

Last week the annual invoice for our allotment fees arrived, and with the deadline unable to wait until next payday, I somewhat reluctantly transferred the required sums. I thought of the weeds and overgrown patches, the gap in the beds where my plans for successional sowing were beaten by summer heat, laziness and other distractions, …

Furze-peg

Hedgehog Instantly recognisable, much loved, and under threat; the hedgehog is in many ways the ‘poster animal’ of wildlife gardening and conservation. Since the year 2000, population numbers of countryside hedgehogs have plummeted by a staggering 50%! Urban populations, although fragmented and localised, seem to withstanding this decline a little better. It would seem that …

High-Risers

Swifts and Martins It could be argued that few birds have lived alongside us for as long as the swifts and martins. Originally at home in caves and cliff faces, they moved with us into our dwellings from farmsteads to tower blocks. Whilst the poets' favourite, the swallow, is certainly a bird of rural villages …

Wizards’ Tree

Gardens Month Wildlife Wednesday Species Focus: Rowan One of the common messages we hear when discussing conservation and the environment is that we should be planting more trees. But how does this fit into the wildlife garden? Trees offer structure and shade to a garden. Many also have flowers and fruit, and their leaves are …

Spawned!

(A Gardens Month blog on Frogs and Toads) From jelly-like spawn, to wriggling tadpoles, and finally hopping croaking adult amphibians, the life story of frogs and toads is familiar to many of us from early childhood. Increasingly however, contact with nature is diminishing in children’s lives, and frogs and toads are struggling too. Ponds are …

The Autumn Garden

Welcome to autumn, the season of fruitfulness! How was your summer? I hope it was filled with wild adventures and wonderful experiences. Now the countryside is filled with signs of seasonal change as trees take on golden hues and flowers begin to fade. Our gardens are following this trend too, and it is easy to …

A Nature ‘How To’: Plant For Pollinators

How to: plant for pollinators April marks the start of gardening season for many people. Gardening is possibly one of the UK’s most popular hobbies or past times, enjoyed by all ages and backgrounds, right across the country. Whether you live in a rural idyll or in the heart of a bustling city, have acres …

A Nature ‘How To’: Build a Wildlife Pond

How to: Build a Wildlife Pond One of the most important elements of any habitat is water. Wildlife from birds to bees all need to drink daily, and many also need to bathe regularly to maintain their plumage or coat in good condition even in the winter. Other creatures, including amphibians and a huge range of …