Urban Wildlife - gardens
Urban Wildlife - gardens
What is meant by urban? In Jersey we think of urban areas as the large sections of buildings making up St Helier and Les Quennevais areas. I too have said that I live in the countryside, but do I really? Looking at the Urban Map created by Jersey Mapping (2007) our island’s urbans areas are all over the place, reaching out into our countryside habitats.
With our countryside habitats fragmented by roads and buildings is there a way we can use these urban spaces to attract and help wildlife on the brink? Gardens are a great starting point for changing how we use our urban spaces. Little changes can help us attract more wildlife to them throughout the year.
Movement between gardens is important so animals can reach new food sources, find areas to hibernate, find mate and suiting areas to breed in. Hedgehogs require movement between garden spaces in search for worm and slugs, hibernations areas. Cutting a hole in a fence or raising the fence line to allow a gap underneath will help them move to and from your garden and therefore eating more slugs are they go! Same goes for Jersey toads and if your lucky the famous Agile frog. They will hunt around the gardens at night looking for slugs and worms and then they need to move to ponds early spring for the breeding season.
When it comes to planting look for native plants that provide pollen and nectar throughout spring, summer and autumn. This will help attract butterflies, bees, hoverflies and so many more invertebrates to your garden space.
Create a pond! This doesn’t mean digging up half your garden, you can create a bucket pond by sinking a buckets and placing a few water friendly plants in it.
Leave a wild space in your garden. In a small corner of your garden that is underused you could leave a pile of logs for woodlice, worms, centipedes and spiders to name a few. You may even get toads or newts living under there as well and hibernating between the logs.
There are just a few ideas to get you started or thinking about gardens for wildlife. If you have an idea we didn’t mention let us know on our Facebook page @Jerseybiodiversitycentre or use the #JerseyWildlife
At this year's Cidre Festival run by Jersey Heritage we will be selling animal homes for £5. We have hedgehog homes/feeding stations, bat boxes, bird boxes and squirrel feeders.
In text - Island Urban Map taken from Jersey Species Action Plans
Right top - Hedgehog at night being fed
Right bottom - Wildlife pond from www.smallgardener.co.uk