Thursday, April 26, 2018

10 Apr

Look out for local wildlife this month!

The start of April brings with it sunny weather, beautiful blooms and an abundance of garden creatures. Look out for Toads, Bees, Butterflies, Beetles, Dragonflies and Birds this time of year.

Have a look in your pond this month, you might be lucky enough to find ribbons of toad spawn floating below the surface. Toads migrate back to their birth place and lay their spawn this time of year. Soon you’ll find black tadpoles swimming around your pond, many will be eaten when they are small by goldfish (if you have them) but most should survive.

Kids love looking at a tadpole’s life journey and fishing some out using a glass won’t harm them at this stage (as long as you put them back!). Keep checking back and you’ll see them transform into tiny toads! Toads will eat any bugs smaller then their mouths, while tadpoles eat algae. There isn’t much you can do to provide food apart from leave your garden to provide it naturally.

Beetles may send your skin crawling but if you look closely they are actually quite beautiful creatures. Look out for oval ground beetles which glint bronze in the sun.

There are 40 well known species of Dragonfly in the UK, but a third of those are endangered. Dragonflies need your help this time of year- many breed in gardens so create a perfect pond environment full of floating, submerged and emergent plants. Different species enjoy different plants for laying their eggs and their larvae can use the plants as protection from any predators.

It’s lovely waking up to the sound of birds in spring, so try to encourage them into your garden this time of year. Supply shelter, a place to breed and some energising food!

Bumblebees have a crucial role when it comes to pollinating some of our most important crops. There has been a massive decline in bumblebee and other pollinator’s numbers, some even becoming extinct. Without bumblebees we could face higher food costs and potential food shortages.

You can help by creating a bumblebee nest to encourage them into your garden…

What you’ll need:

1. Large stone or paving slab

2. Two bricks

3. Chicken wire or tree bark

4. Dried grass or moss

How to make the nest:

1. Dig a whole roughly 15cm deep and half the width of your slab in garden soil. Place a brick each side of the hole and dig an entry channel towards and between the bricks.

2. Take your nesting material and make sure it fits into the space between the bricks. Support the nesting marterial with some bark or chicken wire to keep it dry and elevated above the soil.

3. Place the slab on the bricks and on top of the nesting material. Make sure the material is completely covered but there is a clear entrance way for the bumblebees. You can plant around the nest, try to go for wildlife friendly plants to encourage more garden bees!


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