Inspire the Next Generation This Autumn With Top Tips for a Wildlife Friendly Garden in Merseyside
Leading housebuilder Barratt Homes is encouraging families in Merseyside to get their little ones involved in making their garden a home for wildlife this autumn.
Now that the nights are drawing in, it’s the time to make the most of the garden and teach the little ones more about our environment.
Michaela Lancaster, Sales Director at Barratt Homes Manchester, said: “As a leading homebuilder, it is very important for us to consider and protect the environment at every step of the housebuilding process.
“Our partnership with the RSPB is essential to help demonstrate how we can protect and enhance the biodiversity of the local area, benefitting our customers and wildlife around our developments.
“We’ve handpicked these fantastic tips from the RSPB as the easiest and least time consuming ways that customers moving into their new homes can do their bit for nature.”
Whether you’ve got a few flowerpots, a balcony or a large garden, Barratt Homes and the RSPB have got some activities for you to try to inspire the little ones this autumn.
Create nature highways and byways
Many of our garden creatures need to move freely between gardens. Put yourself in the shoes (feet or paws) of different creatures and see how easy it would be to get around your garden.
To make it easier, add gaps at the base of wooden faces, making sure that you check with neighbours and think about pets. Let some of your lawn grow longer, voles, shrews, frogs, toads and hedgehogs like to move through long grass.
You could add a climbing plant to your garden, this will act as a ladder for some creatures. Finally, get your little ones to help you to plant trees and shrubs, these will act as stepping stones and a good mix of both provides cover as well as allowing them to move along the floor.
Open a hedgehog café
Get the children involved in feeding hungry hogs this summer to help them build the energy to raise hoglets and their fat reserves for their winter hibernation.
First of all, you will need to find a safe place, then find a sturdy box made out of wood with a removable lid for the feeding station. Create a hedgehog-sized hole at the base of one of the sides of the box, about 13cm square. As the sun goes down, lay shallow dishes of hedgehog-friendly food and water inside the box, adding the roof and placing a brick or two on top of the lid to stop any other creatures eating the food. Make sure you clear up any leftovers in the morning.
Build a bug hotel
Safe hideaways can be hard for wildlife to find in some gardens so why not find some odds and ends around the house and the garden and build a bug hotel getting the children involved with the creepy crawleys.
First, choose a suitable site where the ground is level and firm and you will need a strong and stable framework that’s no more than a metre high, old wooden pallets are perfect for a large hotel.
The idea is to provide all sorts of nooks and crannies, crevices, tunnels and cosy beds to fill the gaps materials that work great include: dead wood and bark, dry leaves, sticks, corrugated cardboard, stones, tiles and wooden or paper tubes. Add a roof of old roof tiles or old planks, most activity will be after dark so go out with a torch to see who is popping in and out.
A perfect bird bath
Watching your garden birds coming in for a drink or for a brush can be quite a performance so get the little ones interested in the wildlife by creating your own bird bath.
Lay out four bricks on a piece of open lawn or border, put an upturned, galvanised dustbin lid on top of the bricks, then add any stones or pebbles in the lid to give birds better grip. Finally, fill with water (tap water is fine) and watch, ticking off the birds every time you see a new one!
Create a mini pond
Water brings a magical quality to your garden and is key to life for all creatures. Find or buy a large container, it could be an old sink or even a washing up bowl. Put your container in a safe place while it’s empty. Then, make sure that wildlife can get in and out by using bricks, rocks or logs to create stepping stones in and out.
Next, prepare your pond sealing any drainage holes, put a layer of pebbles, stones or gravel at the bottom and using rainwater if possible.
Pond creatures are great at finding ponds, so watch and wait to see what arrives! If you get any algae or blanket weed, get children to remove it by winding it around a stick – it’s fun!
Gareth Brede at the RSPB said: “We all enjoy seeing wildlife in our garden. A garden just does not feel right without birdsong, buzzing bees and the wonderful natural noises that take makes this part of our home a peaceful refuge from everyday life. And the brilliant thing is creating a wildlife friendly garden can be simple, giving you something to enjoy and be proud of, as well as providing food and shelter offered for the UK’s wildlife.”
To find out more about the RSPB and for more tips on how to create a wildlife friendly garden, visit www.rspb.org.uk.
For more information about homes available in Merseyside, please call the sales team on 033 3355 84 74 or visit www.barratthomes.co.uk.