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Helping Wildlife (2007)

Page updated - 02 October 2009

For further information - Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089 or Suffolk Wildlife Trust Website

Cornard News - This advice was previously published in Cornard News

2007 Summer

Issue 30

SUMMER CONSERVATION

Now that the weather is more comfortable for working in the garden please be aware of the needs of our wildlife. During cold winter weather we, quite rightly, feel concern for our wild birds and provide food & water that is undoubtedly a lifesaver.

 

As a result of loss of foraging habitats in and around gardens that are now paved and manicured for cars & minimum maintenance, our garden birds are in far greater need during the nesting season. My own experience shows an increase of three or four fold over the winter consumption of food. Please also be aware of nesting birds when cutting hedges and shrubs, the robin that accompanies you during your garden chores will sometimes nest on or near the ground under low shrubs as indeed will the hedgehog, the latter is rather inclined to desert or kill it's young if the nest is disturbed.

 

There have been a number of reported adder sightings especially in the Country Park, the last and closest confirmed adder record was 1986 in Groton Wood so, it appears they may now be extinct in this part of Suffolk but, if there is a small, lingering population our County Wildlife Trust needs to be informed. Adders are very shy retiring reptiles, not at all aggressive and only dangerous if handled by inexperienced people. If any remain in West Suffolk they most certainly deserve our protection after many years of persecution and bad press. If you think you have seen an adder please call me on (01787) 374874 / (Mob) 07970 295 426 or Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890089 and, if possible, give a six figure grid ref. or the location.

 

George Millins Local Conservationist

 

2007 Autumn

Issue 31

Wildlife for Gardens & Allotments
Gardens and allotments can provide a fantastic area for wildlife. You can enhance the wildlife value of these areas by making a few simple changes and by using fewer chemicals, which will save you money and help the environment.

Provide a variety of habitats.
Try to provide both structural variety and different features through the seasons and you will attract more wildlife. Climbing plants on fences and walls make nesting and roosting sites for birds and a haven for insects and small mammals. Honeysuckle is a good choice as it has nectar rich flowers followed by fruit. Ivy is particularly valuable as it is evergreen and provides recourses for wildlife all year round. Hedgerows are one of the most important habitats. They provide corridors along which wildlife can travel. Leave an area of grass uncut and allow some wildflowers (weeds) to go to seed for the birds and a small patch of nettles for red admiral & peacock butterflies.

Natural Pest Control.
You can have a productive and attractive garden and allotment without using chemical pesticides, which damage the environment. Natural predators of pests can be encouraged by providing them with suitable habitats and food. A pile of logs or dead wood in a shady corner will feed beetle larvae and give shelter to frogs, toads, hedgehogs and slow-worms, all of which will eat slugs and grubs. Try companion planting. Certain plants, such as marigolds, mixed with fruit and vegetables, will attract ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies which all feed on aphids. Birds in turn will be attracted by these insects and will also eat slugs etc. A compost heap, which is full of insects, worms, mites and other invertebrates, will provide a refuge and feeding area for hedgehogs, birds, toads, grass snakes and slow-worms. By making your own compost, you will save money, help save precious peatbogs and reduce pollution.

For more information contact Suffolk Wildlife Trust on 01473 890 165.