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Encouraging Wildlife and Biodiversity at Milton Park

Published on: 01/08/2018

How to Encourage Wildlife and Biodiversity at Milton Park

Earlier in 2018, Springwatch presenter and wildlife conservationist Chris Packham warned of an ‘Ecological apocalypse’ in Britain. It sounds dramatic, but numbers of birds and insects in the UK have seen a large fall in the past two decades.

Packham shared some worrying words:

“Nature reserves are becoming natural art installations… It’s just like looking at your favourite Constable or Rothko. We go there, muse over it, and feel good... But on the journey home there’s nothing – only wood pigeons and non-native pheasants and dead badgers on the side of the road.”

However, plenty can be done to encourage and sustain an increase in wildlife in rural areas.

The best advice? To view gardens and green spaces as miniature nature reserves.

At Milton Park, we are proud of our green space, including five lagoons teeming with wildlife. Over 1,000,000 plants and flowers are on the park, alongside over 3,000 trees. 

We also have the popular urban gardens project, where allotments can be booked to help grow your own fruit and vegetables.

 

Encouraging insects at home and at Milton Park

Mixing ‘insectary’ plants in with your flowers and vegetables will help encourage more insects, which will protect your vegetables and keep your green space diverse and flourishing. There are a lot of insectary plants, mostly those that hold a lot of pollen, which means they are often colourful. Examples include sunflowers, foxgloves, fennel and elderberry.

The most important insect to encourage, and the most at threat, is the bee. There are plenty of gardening ‘hacks’ which will help welcome more bees into your garden or shared green space, including staggering your plantings so you have a longer blooming period.

Bees are also fans of perennial plants, which are often in bloom over the year (apart from the depths of winter). They also can provide a lot of colour for flower beds and borders.

 

Encouraging birds at home and at Milton Park

No matter the weather, leaving water sources around when tending to your garden will help encourage birds to come have a drink or even a bath. Shallow containers left near the ground are perfect.

A decrease in insect populations has seen a direct impact on bird numbers, and it is a great idea to leave food for birds in your green spaces. One of the best and cheapest food sources for birds is to make a ‘fat ball’. Birds love the seeds and scraps within, and they are easy to make with an old plastic yoghurt pot and a few essential ingredients.

Take a pot and punch a hole in the bottom with some scissors to run some string or rope through – knot the rope so the pot stays hanging like a bauble.

To make a fat ball, simply all you need to do is mix healthy kitchen scraps, seeds and nuts with lard or suet (make sure never to use turkey fat, which is dangerous to birds) with a 50/50 ratio of fat to scraps.

Trex vegetable fat is a good fat alternative for vegan wildlife lovers.  

Your kitchen scraps can include:

  • Oats
  • Sultanas and currants
  • Breadcrumbs and cake crumbs
  • Grated cheese
  • Peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts etc.
  • Seeds

These can be hung in your garden or allotment, or in your urban garden at Milton Park.

Enquire about taking part in our urban gardens project today!

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