The attentive May talk audience relaxed as one of our members, Peter Almond, described how gardening for wildlife is as much about what you don’t do as what you do do. Peter gave us an entertaining insight into the gradual development of his garden into a wildlife haven, creatively providing food, water, shelter and breeding sites for a lovely diversity of species.
The talk dispelled some of the common myths about wildlife gardening: it’s not only large gardens that are good for wildlife but each one of the millions of small gardens is also really important; it’s not only native plants that support wildlife but a diversity of plants is important; it’s not always a good thing to feed birds, but only if the feeders are kept clean.
Some easy wins Peter enjoyed were raising the head of his mower on its less frequent outings from the shed, and observing ‘No Mow May’; leaving leaves, leaving seed heads as food for birds over winter, leaving piles of logs, and definitely leaving all pesticides firmly on the shop shelves. Some of his positive actions included installing a pond, creating a compost heap, introducing a fruit tree and a perennial wildflower meadow now buzzing with insect life.
Some poignant words Peter read from Pam Ayres’ “The Last Hedgehog” lingered on the air as we left for the dining room. . . . .