Champion for nature: Top 10 tips for protecting wildlife

Written by Charlotte Allen

Champion for nature: Top 10 tips for protecting wildlife

This month Girlguiding LaSER are celebrating the uncountably brilliant things about nature and how we can use our voices to stand up for the planet. The Hive team has come together to brainstorm our top ten tips on how to protect wildlife from your very own home! You don’t need to have access to a garden space for these tips, feel free to use whatever is available.

  • Create a ‘bee & bug’ home (Abbie covered this in her ‘how to make’ series How to Make- Bee Bug Home ): This is the perfect way to provide a small sanctuary for bees and insects. They are increasingly under-threat and so a safe haven for them to live and breed in can go a long way in ensuring their long-term survival. According to Friends of the Earth, “bee hotels are used as breeding places by cavity-nesting solitary bees like Mason bees, Leafcutter bees and Yellow-faced bees which naturally nest in hollow stems, earth banks or old beetle holes in dead wood. None of these bees are aggressive, so they are fine around children and pets.”
  • Make a mini-pond: Adding some water to your outdoor space is an easy way to bring in new ecosystems and aquatic wildlife. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking either- a washing-up bowl, a large plant pot or a disused sink could all be repurposed as ponds if creatures can get in and out. Check out how to create a mini pond for some ideas!
  • Feed the birds: After flying around all day, birds definitely need somewhere to eat! By creating a low-cost bird feeder, you can ensure that they have a constant source of food (if you have a lot of local squirrels, you might want to invest in a ‘squirrel-proof’ feeder instead). How to make a bird feeder has some brilliant
  • Build a birdhouse: In an increasingly industrial world, there is less and less space for birds to nest but we can change that! Birdhouses are really quick and easy to make and you can hang them anywhere you like. Look at the RSPB’s advice (Build a bird box) and take a look at some of their other activities too
  • Make a log pile: According to the RSBP, standing and fallen decaying wood and old plants are very important for wildlife. Even just one or two bushes, if kept beyond their natural life, are of great value to insects, fungi, mosses and lichens. Birds feed on insects that make their home in old wood. In large gardens, a decaying tree with a snagged bough or a small cavity might provide a nest site for a bird or bat. Check out their resources for making this vital resource for your local wildlife at Dead Wood for Wildlife | Garden Ideas
  • Reuse, reduce and recycle: By reducing the waste that you produce, reusing items such as water bottles and plastic bags and recycling regularly, you can be a champion for nature. Over the years, we’ve written many, many blogs on this- check out our Instagram Guide for more at The Hive's Guide to Helping the Planet
  • Compost: The RHS recommends that ‘composting is done all year, as and when suitable materials are generated in the garden or home. However late summer to early winter is the peak time for making compost. Home composting is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste, plus it produces compost that can be used as an excellent soil improver.’
  • Grow some wildflowers: Wildflowers provide lots of things that insects need: food in the form of leaves, nectar and pollen, also shelter and places to breed. In return, insects pollinate the wildflowers, enabling them to develop seeds and spread to grow in other places. Plant some wildflowers and watch nature thrive!
  • Use water-butts: The RSPB also says that we are ‘seeing stress on rivers and wetlands as water is abstracted for human use, which means pressure on wonderful wetland wildlife. With the growing human population and the threat of climate change, water is likely to become even more precious as a resource.’ So using water butts can reduce this stress and save water! Check out how to fit a water butt
  • Let things grow a little wild: The National History Museum states that ‘Longer grass provides shelter, creating a microclimate under the stalks. Not mowing also allows flowers to bloom, which helps bees. Yarrow is found in many lawns but needs more time than other plants before it flowers. But having some mown areas is helpful for animals that feed on animals like worms, such as blackbirds and robins. Some wild plants can take over - what are often referred to as weeds - but these are an important part of the ecosystem. Dandelions are an excellent source of nectar for insects.’

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog, if you have a go at any of these tips let us know on our instagram and facebook channels!

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