Preparing for World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day takes place on 3rd March, an annual day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants. Some of these most recognisable British animals and insects are in decline and so anything we can do to help them is very important. Our outdoor spaces can be safe habitats for wildlife and even small steps, like introducing homes, creating shelter and food can make a big difference. Here we explore how you can take steps to help wildlife in the garden.
Bumblebees are the most well-known pollinators and without these little buzzing creatures there would be far fewer flowers, fruits and vegetables growing around us. However, research by Friends of the Earth has revealed that nearly one in 10 of Europe’s wild bee species are facing extinction while 13 species of bee have been lost since 1900 due to having lost much of their natural habitat due to urban development, change of land use and intensive farming.
Bee hotels are a great way to help our solitary bees, such as mason bees and leaf cutter bees by providing much-needed shelter - unlike bumblebees and honey bees, who live in colonies. Our Diamond Wooden Insect Hotel provides a safe haven for the bees in your garden and allows them to “check in” to the bamboo tubes and wooden block tunnels. The tubes or reeds will allow solitary bees to lay their eggs safely and will be protected from predators by a wire mesh.
We recommend you place your bee hotel in a sunny spot, preferably south or south-east facing and hung securely from a wall or fence using a nail or screw.
There are about 60 types of butterflies in the UK but they are declining more rapidly in urban areas. A loss of habitat is cited as a major factor, as well the combined intensification of land use and climate change.
For those that want to help the plight of the UK’s butterfly population, you can support many species of butterfly by encouraging them into your garden with our highly decorative Wooden Butterfly Hotel. With three vertical openings at the front, the butterflies can easily access their home. Hang near nectar-rich flowers or place a sugar solution-soaked sponge inside the butterfly house which will act as a good food source for visitors.
There are a number of other insects that play a vital role in helping your healthy garden thrive. Ladybirds are one of the popular amongst UK gardeners not only attractive, but a biological pest control method. Hoverflies are often mistaken for wasps or bees due to their similar appearance. They help with the fight against aphids, thrips and caterpillars so are a welcome sight in the garden.
Lacewings are also loved by gardeners due to their consumption of aphids and their larvae that can damage ornamental plants and allotment produce. Creepy crawlies such as beetles can also be beneficial to the garden, are predatory and will rid your garden of pests like slugs and snails.
Both our Natural Insect House with Bark Roof and Four Floor Wooden Insect House with Metal Roof offer multiple chambers for different kinds of insects. Made up of different materials such as bamboo hollow tubes, fir wood, pine cones and wood shavings, the hotels provide the perfect accommodation to various insects from lacewings to ladybirds and bees and butterflies.
Attracting garden birds to your outdoor space is both hugely enjoyable and very rewarding. Just watching them flit from tree to tree and feed helps to regulate our moods and behaviour, perfect for when life is stressful and busy as it helps us reconnect with nature.
The most obvious thing you can do is provide food and our Hanging Wooden Bird Feeder is designed to make watching your favourite garden birds both easy and enjoyable.
A traditional high bird feeder like our Natural Standing Wooden Bird Feeding Table will be popular, allowing multiple birds to feed at once away from predators and sheltered from bad weather.
Birds are also susceptible to cold weather exposure so ensuring they have somewhere warm to go next is vital. Our Colourful Bird House can be hung in trees or on walls and lined with leaves, grass, bark, twigs or wood chippings to create a cosy home through winter. Much like us, birds also need water as well as food to survive and thrive and our Ancient Collection Salt Glaze Birdbath provides both a functional and decorative area to drink and bathe.
One of the greatest challenges facing hedgehogs is a lack of connected habitat and unfortunately, numbers in the UK have fallen by around 50% since the start of the century, due to intensive farming disturbing their natural resting and nesting sites, such as hedgerows and field margins.
Our hedgehog houses provide shelter and food and can also act as a lovely design feature and focal point in your garden. The Wooden Hedgehog House will help to create a safe habitat for them, whilst giving a helping hand to hibernate during the long, cold winter months. Gardens are crucial for hedgehogs and other ways you can help include leaving part of your lawn to grow wild as they love hiding in long grass, as well as making a hole in your fence or hedging so they can travel between gardens at night.