Hedgehogs are commonly referred to as ‘the
gardeners friend’ due to the high number of insects
and other garden pests it eats. Their main food source is
beetles, caterpillars, slugs and earthworms. Encouraging them
into your garden has mutual benefits to both you and your
prickly visitors. It is not uncommon for an adult hedgehog
to eat almost half its own body weight every day.
to attract hedgehogs
your garden is not totally closed off there is a good possibility
that you will be visited by a hedgehog. It is not advised
to leave milk out as this can cause illness for wild hedgehogs.
You may wish to supplement their diet by leaving cat or dog
food out or a proprietary food mix.
In order to help hedgehogs thrive in your garden the best
option is to provide shelter particularly during periods of
harsh weather. For advice on creating your own hedgehog nest
the British Hedgehog Preservation Society publish a series
of leaflets on all aspects of hedgehog welfare, they can be
contacted at email@example.com.
It is important to remember that hedgehogs
have partial protection under the Wildlife and Countryside
Act and cannot be trapped without permission from English
you find an orphaned or sick hedgehog contact your local Wildlife
Trust for advice and assistance.
are protected by law and this includes the disruption of their
roosts. The reason that these nocturnal creatures are so well
protected is that numbers have been in steady decline. This
decline has been due to both a loss of habitats and a decline
in insects that form their main source of food. The recent
increase in pesticides has accelerated this food shortage
and means the need for protection has become critical.
With this in mind it is possible to attract bats into your
garden by providing bat boxes. One important point to make
is that if you notice bats using a box you must notify English
Nature. It is necessary to apply for a licence to carry out
regular checks on the bats.
The advantage of having bats in your garden is that they will
eat many of the pests that could otherwise cause a problem.
The types of plants that will attract both the insects and
as a result bats are cottage garden plants and most herb varieties.
It is a good idea to plant night-scented flowers, as these
will attract the maximum number of insects at the time when
bats feed. It is common sense to say that the use of artificial
pesticides should never be used.
use echolocation to find their prey in the dark
hibernate during winter due to the lack of insects to eat
may only have one young each year and if food is scarce, none.
can live up to thirty years!
have been shown to travel as far as 11 miles in the search
are more than 250 species of native bee in Britain. At present
almost 25% of them are now endangered due to the decline in
natural habitats caused by intensive farming. Domestic gardens
are becoming increasingly important for bees, and gardeners
have a central responsibility to play in creating the correct
habitats for the bees’ survival.
can provide a small meadow of rough grass. It is a common
misconception made by gardeners that all flowers are beneficial
for bees. In reality many modern hybrids lack pollen and nectar,
which is the bees’ main food source Another common misunderstanding
due to misinformation is that bumblebees are aggressive.
in particular are essential pollinators of flowers, soft fruit
and certain crops, particularly more traditional crops such
as apples, pears, plums, raspberries and strawberries. One
reason why bumblebees remain important in Britain is because
they are able to pollinate at lower temperatures than most
is a known fact that bumblebees respond to ultra-violet colours.
Therefore, the best options are flowers that are white, blue,
purple or yellow. Tests have shown that bees tend to go to
blue and purple flowers first, then to yellow and orange.
Bees have a tendency to frequent old fashioned single flowers
rather than fancy doubles. It is also important to note that
bees benefit significantly when pesticide sprays are avoided.
that encourage bumblebees and other species include:
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