New Year, New Habitats?

Hey everyone, apart from going to the gym/yoga more often and drinking more water, getting to sleep earlier and procrastinating less (just me?), what decisions have you made for your wildlife gardening resolutions for this year?

I want to dig my first pond. I also want to set up a camera on the feeder tree (although I may need to get another one if the Spotted Flycatchers return this Summer, it was fab to be able to keep an eye on their comings and goings). I would also like to climb the Beech tree and check on the owl box. I suspect it needs replacing.

I am also going to redouble my efforts to turn the front lawn into meadow, I should get a scythe really! We had ALOT of Yarrow last year but I’d like to see some other species flourishing which will require some more organised mowing routines!

What have you got planned for this year?

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Well a couple of years ago I turned our 1000sqm lawn into a wildflower meadow by doing the #nomowmay #letitbloomjune #kneehighjuly. In fact we didn’t mow it from March through to October, the result was stunning, loads of grasses like Quaking Grass and Horsetail, loads of white & red clover, self-heal, bugle, ox-eye daisies, meadow buttercup, pignut, cuckoo spit etc. It attracted swathes of Meadow Brown butterflies, Marble Whites, amazing bees and pollinators of all varieties. It was a great success and we even had swallows and house martins skimming over it during the day getting insects in flight and bats at night. BUT, if you have white dogs, it was a big no no. The vast addition of extra pollen it created sadly set off the skin allergies in my dogs. To compromise, I keep the back lawn where they run at a ‘normal length’ though I allow the clover and daisies to still grow into a carpet, but have set aside a section to the side to grow a permanent meadow, but this has proven a challenge as the area is semi shaded by trees so requires more work to try and encourage wildflowers to grow. I’ve found adding perennials helps a lot but it is definitely still a work in progress. We also have to attend to our pond which is more of a large bog garden than an open water pond…lots to do!!

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