Mid and East Antrim Borough Council celebrated Wild About Gardens Week with its first a Wild About Gardens Workshop on Wednesday 28th October at Carrickfergus Mill Ponds.
With a wide range of experts on site including RSPB, Ulster Wildlife and The Conservation Volunteers, attendees built bird boxes, bird feeders and homes for bees. Attendees also learnt how to make a mini pond in their own garden, went pond dipping, learnt about bugs, bats and red squirrels and had the chance to sign up to the Hedgehog Street campaign and make Hedgehog Street signs.
Many of our common garden species, such as sparrows, common frogs and stag beetles, are becoming much less common. Research has found that sixty percent of UK animal and plant species have declined in the past 50 years for a range of reasons including loss of habitat.But it’s not hard to help. Together our gardens can be a vast living landscape that link urban green spaces with nature reserves and the countryside. With an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK, the way they are cared for can make a huge difference to wildlife. So get creative for wildlife this autumn. Why have a plain fence when a green, living boundary can bring berries, flowers, scents, colours and wildlife? Or why not dig a pond? Even a very small pond can be home to newts, dragonflies, and pond skaters, and you'll also be providing water for birds.
The Hedgehog Street campaign is encouraging everyone to make a hole in their garden fence or wall and map it on Hedgehog Street (http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/). Adult hedgehogs can travel between 1-2 kilometres per night and they love gardens. There are around half a million hectares of garden in the UK so it is important that hedgehogs can access all these different gardens, for food and shelter, via holes in our fences and walls.
|Making bird feeders|
|Making Hedgehog Street signs|
|Bird box building|