How to attract wildlife
The ‘Big Wildlife Garden’ is an online network for people interested in wildlife-friendly gardening. Users will be able to share ideas with other gardeners, keep an online wildlife diary and upload photographs of species spotted in their gardens. Groups with access to open spaces, such as scouts and girl guides, can also sign up to receive hints and tips about attracting wildlife.
With more than three million gardens in London alone, there is the potential to reverse the decline of endangered wildlife species such as hedgehogs, holly blue butterflies and bumble bees. “Every patch of land added to the Big Wildlife Garden will increase the number and populations of species we are helping to protect,” commented Dr Steve Head, chair of the London Wildlife Trust, which is collaborating with Natural England on the project.
The site, www.bwg.naturalengland.org.uk, is designed to inspire an interest in the natural world among children and families. Users can collect Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for the progress they make in attracting wildlife, with the most successful receiving the prestigious Green Award. Schools can also take part in a competition to find England’s ‘Best School Wildlife Garden of the Year’.
Alison Barnes, London director of Natural England, said: “In the face of climate change and habitat fragmentation, we hope to create a virtual nature reserve in which wildlife can thrive.”