Green Consumer

Wildlife Gardens Open Day

hedgehog walking through leaves

Going Wild in the Garden

Gardens have an important role to play in the fight to reverse the desperate decline in biodiversity over the last seventy years. Private gardens in Britain cover about 270,000 ha – well in excess of the total area of national parks. That is a lot of potential habitats for wildlife to thrive in.

Greening Steyning has been promoting wildlife gardening since we conducted a survey back in 2020 on people’s gardening habitats, and we are continuing to raise awareness of how important it is that we all do a little bit towards making our gardens havens for a wildlife.

We approached Steyning in Bloom to ask them if they would provide us with an opportunity to include a group of ‘wildlife friendly’ gardens in their annual Open Garden Day and were delighted they said Yes!

Five wonderful wildlife friendly gardens then openned their doors to the public and we produced a handy guide giving tips to visitors who were interested in doing something similar with their own garden.

There are so many places to start and different ways to create a wildlife garden in a way that suits you and your family.  Perhaps the easiest is to leave the lawnmower in the shed and let the grass grow, along with those dandelions whose bright yellow flowers provide that important early nectar for bees. You could create a ‘wildflower meadow’ within your garden. Many lucky residents in this area discover orchids popping up out of nowhere in their lawn.

Being more ambitious you could create a pond for wildlife or make a woodpile in a shady corner for all manner of creepy crawlies to live in.

Sometimes it’s the small detaisl which count; allowing the hedge to grow wilder for nesting birds, leaving berries on the bushes in the autumn and the remains of the windfalls from the apple tree still rotting beneath it, food for blackbirds and thrushes in the Autumn and snacks for slugs and snails, fungus, and hundreds of tiny, microscopic creatures over the winter.

Size doesn’t matter. This is all about sharing ideas and encouraging others who may be thinking about ‘wilding’ their gardens or maybe opening the eyes of those who would never dream of changing their habits.

And the important thing is that you don’t have to worry about the weeds coming up in the lawn or nibbled petals on those roses!

snail in a garden
A wildlife garden full of insect friendly planting

Interested? If you’d like to find out more, contact us at biodiversity@greeningsteyning.org