A new booklet to help everyone to help wildlife in their gardens, no matter how big or small, has been launched and is available from the Heritage Office of Wicklow County Council.
Taking a very practical approach, the book details projects to help wildlife of all kinds under a range of headings, with tasks suitable for everyone from the total beginner to the more ambitious DIY enthusiast. The brainchild of Juanita Browne, the booklet was produced by Local Authority Heritage Officers across Ireland, with help from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Heritage Council. With clear instructions and step-by-step drawings by illustrator Barry Reynolds, the guide offers the gardener lots of options to help our biodiversity.
We are all becoming much more conscious of nature on our doorstep and more people than ever are taking an interest in the birds, bees and bugs that are visiting their gardens. County Wicklow is known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’ and hopefully that this little guide will help anyone who has the time and interest now to make their garden a haven for wildlife.
With increasing agricultural intensification, gardens in many areas can be an oasis for wildlife, and with small changes we can make them even better. The guide outlines actions that can be taken to improve gardens for birds, bees, butterflies, bats and more, and the good news is many of the steps that can be taken are really easy. Just leaving an “untidy” corner of your garden for nature, leaving roadside verges to grow naturally or allowing some of the gold star
plants for biodiversity - dandelion, willow, bramble, clover, ivy to thrive in a small patch of your garden can reap huge dividends for wildlife. For the more adventurous the book contains step-by-step guidance on how to build a bird bath, create a log pile for hedgehogs and mini beasts, and how to install a pond or bog garden. With an estimated 2 million gardens in this country, action by just some of those gardeners could make a huge difference for our native wildlife.
But it won’t just benefit the biodiversity. There is increasing evidence that time spent in nature is good for our own mental health and well-being too. As more of us spend time closer to home, regular contact with the natural world has become ever more important.
“Gardening for Biodiversity”, funded by the Department for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of an initiative to encourage projects under the National Biodiversity Action Plan, is available to download as a pdf below or free hard copies can be ordered by e mailing Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer at email@example.com