“We have a large patch of nettles in our garden that we leave for the insects and butterflies.” Terri Wilson
“I write letters to my MP on environmental issues.” Mrs J Gasson
“These are some of the things I do to attract birds bees, butterflies and insects to my garden which is quite small.We have an apple tree from which we hang feeders with sunflower seeds we have 2 small domed feeders for the smaller birds which my goldfinches love, also we have 2 squirrel proof feeders not to stop squirrels, however we seem to attract large amounts of wood pigeons and collard doves but also enjoy a healthy brood of sparrows and this year our fat balls have been very popular with the jackdaws, and they all seem to enjoy the nuts .we have a hedgehog home which has been a success with mice and do get regular visits from a hedgehog I like to leave him out some raisins. Last year we added a butterfly box and bee box all additions to our insect box. Under one of our larger hedges we leave a pile of logs for the insects to enjoy. Last year we planted a lovely buddlia to attract the butterflies and recently planted a number of wild flowers which we hope bees and butterflies will enjoy and of course we always make sure there is a steady supply of fresh water in our two bird baths.And last of all on occasion we have seen a lovely escapee parrot in our tree hanging upside down whilst he helps himself to nuts...” Maria Bradburn
These are just a few examples of how people are Stepping Up for Nature. We’d love to hear your story... contribute to the thread by telling us how you are Stepping Up.
Thanks everyone, Emily
So far, I have written an email to Brussels about Pillar 2 funding in the CAP. I added a significant amount of what I see around me here in semi-rural South Wales.
I have made my garden more wildlife friendly, and put in a butterfly and bee garden, which is slowly coming to life.
I have a draft letter to go to my local MP about this factory site on which I work. The factory is due to close by this time next year, it is a wildlife rich habitat. Realistically, I cannot stop whatever they want to put here, but I can hope to preserve the trees and hedgerow that surround the site. They are home to at least 3 types of hawkmoth, a considerable number of birds, including less numerous ones for this area such as blackcap, redwings and garden warblers.
I have more planned in my enforced lesuire time from when I am made redundant! The devil makes work for idle hands!
Hey Ant, that all sounds great - except the redundancy of course. ( I was made redundant when I was 61 so of course had no hope of getting another job so I feel for you) but you sound as if you will be very busy anyway! If you want more help with the factory site let us know. I am often down near Llandovery where my dearest friend lives so I can get folks there to help with petitions etc. In fact I am planning to be down there for a couple of days in a fortnight.
I have described where we live in the "Introduction" thread so you can see we have what virtually amounts to a Nature Reserve to care for. I have been thinking about what we do and realise that although we do quite a bit for the birds, small mammals amd bats that share our patch we don't pay enough attention to the insects around. We have a huge variety, that much I do know but I cannot name more than a fraction and I have little real knowledge of their requirements. So..... I am dusting off the insect ID book, I've signed up to www.buglife.org.uk and I am going to get serious about creepy crawlies.
Then there's the ferns that grow in our patch of temperate rainforest - think there's about 8 species ....... but maybe they'll have to wait till next year. After all they seem to be flourishing!!
I saw this thread a few days ago, and I've been thinking of how I actually help nature.
Well I guess there are the small things, such as feeding the birds, and using a wide variety of seeds and feeds to attract and suit different species, I also provide water in various places and in different forms to be of use to a wide variety of creatures as possible, such as my Hedgehog visitors, birds, and the sneaky mice.
I don’t use pesticides, or slug pellets or weed killers, I don’t really need to.
I’ve also re-designed my garden to attract more creatures such as planting a crab apple for flowers and fruit, I have sown a small wildflower patch in what was my failing veg patch, and I have also planted many wildflower plug plants around the garden with excellent results.
I have Primulas, Ragged Robin, Knapweed lots of Scabious and many others all doing well and attracting the bees and butterflies.
I have built a small but perfectly formed and very busy wildlife pond which now has Palmate Newts using it as well as frogs and all sorts of insects.
I have also placed in my garden 2 winter hedgehog houses, (apparently different from summer houses) in the garden and both have been use, (By hedgehogs) at some point over the winter. I also built a wildlife stack, I copied the one the RSPB first built at Gardeners World Live a few years ago, and they also gave me the Primula seeds which are now the plants all over my garden.
I also have put up several different types of nest boxes, unfortunately all occupied by spiders at the moment.
I have planted several blackcurrant bushes around the garden just for the blackbirds to use the currents and the aphids to use the leaves; as a result I’ve seen the Blue Tits using the aphids.
Then there are what I call the medium things, I have signed petitions, written to my MP through the Campaigning section of the RSPB website.
Bought books on insect ID, buy items from RSPB Shop, including the chocolate, buy RSPB badges, joined the RSPB, joined my local wildlife trust, joined other organisations such as Buglife and Bumble Bee conservation.
I make a point of listening to the excellent saving species podcast from the BBC, and the Natures Voice Podcast from the RSPB.
I read up on environmental matters, I buy books... lots of them, on natural history subjects I want to know more about.
I’ve gone to lots of talks and walks on natural history subjects.
Then what I call the big things, because I wanted to know more, to gain more knowledge to be able to make positive informed choices and make a difference to the wellbeing of the environment I started a two year Practical Ecology and Wildlife Conservation Course in autumn 2009 and I’m due to finish end of August 2011.
This course has shown me subjects such as River Ecology, Grassland Ecology, woodland Ecology, Bird Mapping, Insect Identification, the facts about GM crops, All about Biodiversity and why its declining, mans effect on the planet, habitat management and so much more.
I’ve found the changes I’ve made in my own garden have made big and beneficial differences to the creatures that use my garden. Just ask all those House Sparrows out there on the feeders right now.
Well if you’re still reading after all that, well done. I had a long think about what I wanted to say and I did it.
A lady posted on twitter this morning (Sunday) a phrase:
If you're aware, then you're more likely to care
That phrase prompted this thread, again sorry about the length.
We are spending time doing bird surveys in our local area and have turned out with the local countryside volunteers doing task varying from stone walling to balsam removal.
Currently writing my regular article for my local RSPB local group.
It's called 'Campaign Corner' and reports on past campaigns I've asked the members to take part in (Peat-free compost/Lydd airport etc/LttF) and reminds them of the latest ones like Stepping Up.
I am also asking everyone to take part in the Safeguard our Sea Life campaign which can be accessed here (bottom right hand of screen):
It's just a simple e-petition. You don't have to write anything so super easy! This will ensure that seabirds are protected as part of the new Marine Conservation Act.