Hints & Tips
If you're a wildlife lover, you probably relish the role your garden plays in providing a home for some of our best-loved species.
Frogs, newts, hedgehogs and birds all make their homes in our gardens and ponds.
A new initiative has been launched by London Zoo to gauge the health of our native wildlife, giving you the chance to help preserve these species for generations to come.
Garden Wildlife Health is a collaboration between Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The aim of the project is to safeguard against future population declines by pinpointing when and where diseases are occurring.
Data collected from garden owners up and down the land will be used to monitor amphibians, reptiles, garden birds and hedgehogs. Any signs of disease can be registered at gardenwildlifehealth.org.
Once you have registered and added a site – for example, a garden or a pond – you will then be asked to file a disease incident report.
After you have reported an incident, you will have the chance to submit the body of a dead animal for a post-mortem investigation to be carried out. It sounds like a gruesome task but it will help scientists record and prevent the spread of diseases.
Tim Hopkins, Garden Wildlife Health project co-ordinator at ZSL, says: "We all share our gardens with wildlife but often fail to notice how these animals are faring."
"This new national project relies on the help and support from the British public, and we urge people to get in contact with us at gardenwildlifehealth.org to tell us what they’re seeing in their garden; it really will make a difference."
Information on diseases is available from the website, helping you identify symptoms in amphibians, birds, reptiles and hedgehogs.
So if your garden is a haven for wildlife, make sure it stays that way by helping the ZSL preserve our native species for years to come.