Gardeners ‘more interested in helping wildlife’

Gardeners with expansive green spaces may be using lawn mowers to keep their grass trim for the benefit of local animals as much as for their own green-fingered pleasure.

This is according to wildlife expert at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Helen Bostock, who argued the new year is the ideal time to take action to turn a garden into a safe place for resident creatures.

One way this can be done is signing up to the Big Garden Wildlife Competition, which has received backing from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Conservation is said to be of growing importance as increasing numbers of British species of animals are becoming endangered.

The Wildlife Trust's project manager for the scheme Morag Shuaib suggested leaving a pile of wood to rot so it can become home to beetles, centipedes and fungi, among others.

Alternatively, MowDIRECT offers a range of garden chippers and shredders, many of which can transform garden waste collected from working outdoors into valuable mulch.

Another benefit of this activity is that the garden itself will be better preserved throughout the winter months.

Gardener's World noted this can provide worms with plenty of nutrients to distribute around the earth and it can also prevent erosion and soil compaction.

"This kind of approach will reward you with many more garden visitors once spring arrives and sheltering creatures become more active again," commented Mr Shuaib.

The charities also recommended building a pond, specifying a wider range of depths will encourage a more varied array of wildlife.

“Gardens are part of a network of mini wildlife havens which link up habitats across the UK. All are a vital source of shelter and food, especially in winter when many species need warm, dry spaces in which to bed down," the expert concluded, advising against overly excessive tree pruning.

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