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Gardening for Wildlife Census Results

Monday 10th February

Gardening for Wildlife Census Results

Over the past 12 months Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been conducting an online Gardening for Wildlife Census to build a clearer picture of the value of the county's gardens for  our wildlife. With the countryside increasingly under threat our gardens can provide a refuge, especially with a little helping and planning from gardeners.

Almost 350 people have responded so far, providing us with a wealth of information about the wildlife which visits people’s gardens and the steps people have taken to give wildlife a helping hand. Our gardens are attracting a wide variety of creatures.  Among the larger animals, squirrels are seen in over 80% of gardens, and the fox in just under half of all gardens but only 3% of respondents had been lucky enough to see a badger.

Around half the gardens covered by the Census had been graced by peacock butterflies and dragonflies and importantly gardens are clearly providing sustenance for bees (seen in almost all gardens).
Robins, blackbirds and house sparrows are also present in almost every garden.
Giving wildlife a helping hand

Gardeners are giving the wildlife a helping hand with almost 60% of  having a birdfeeder of some sort. Perhaps more surprisingly over 50% have a nettle patch. Whilst these can be beneficial for insects, we wonder whether all these nettle patches were planned features!

More than three quarters of respondents appear to be heeding the advice that it is important to feed birds all year around - with around 75% stating that they feed for 12 months of the year. A further 15% do so in the winter - meaning that almost every garden offers a refuge for our cherished birds during the most testing months.
When asked why their gardens were important an overwhelming majority of people stated that their gardens brought them closer to nature.
And what is our favourite garden creature in Nottinghamshire?  The prickly hedgehog – favourite with around 15% of respondents, followed by the robin. Many people didn’t choose a specific species – instead listing their favourite at ‘birds’.

In addition to gathering details of the species most commonly seen in garden settings we are also asking for information about the types of wildlife habitat that exists close to people’s gardens. By analysing this data we may be able to spot patterns which highlight how wildlife moving between gardens. The more information we have about the creatures that visit people’s gardens the more we can do to advise people how to make their gardens, no matter how small, even better for wildlife.

Many respondents were keen to learn more about what to plant to attract more wildlife so we have produced a full colour planting chart. Using information from the Census we now hope to update our website and produce more gardening for wildlife resources in the months ahead.

So, if you haven’t already completed the census, why not complete it today by visiting our 'On your Doorstep' section?

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