We live in a small bungalow, with a small garden, on the edge of a small town and over the years our garden has gradually been given over to the wildlife. Way back in 1994 we dug our pond and we were surprised to find that the colonisation started literally over the first night. The pond is now teeming with newts and snails, we have both frogs and toads to serenade us and we are often treated to the electric blues and greens of visiting dragonfly’s.
We’ve fed the birds for many years and now support a huge variety of bird life. We’ve seen more than 50 goldfinches in the garden at any one time and once had 42 sparrows. Because there is an abundant food resource, the birds often have several broods so our garden is full of young birds throughout the spring and early summer.
A few years ago, we spotted a hedgehog in the garden, so we regularly feed them and now we have a resident population to entertain us, though their eating habits leave a little to be desired.
Last year we decided to plant a wild flower meadow, all of 4 square metres, but we already have copious quantities of bees and butterflies visiting the garden, so we’ve just extended the meadow by another 4 square metres in the hope of attracting even more bees. We also have native hedging to give berries and nuts later in the season.
We won’t use any chemicals at all in our garden, if anything is growing in the wrong place it will get pulled up, or more often than not left alone to see what grows. Dandelions are welcome, they are a vital nectar resource for bees early in the season. Nettles are welcome too, they support insects and butterflies and I think they are a really pretty plant.
Living on the edge of open land, we occasionally see foxes in the garden and even get the odd visit from deer very early in the morning. We have resident tawny owls on the estate and get the occasional visit from sparrow hawks as well as seeing buzzards circling overhead.
Last Monday we were working on the car-port roof and a song thrush sang from dawn to dusk and you can’t help but smile at this joyous sound. The lanes near us have hedges that team with the now rare sparrow and it is obvious to us that all wildlife needs is a habitat and food source to thrive.