UK and Ireland Menu
1 - Introduction - your garden and how to help bring back wildlife
2 - Pond life & how to make a wildlife pond
are here> PART
3 - Mammals, birds, plants and insects - environment and care
4 - Reduce food miles and grow your own fruit and veg
information for Schools
How to live
in harmony with the smaller creatures in your garden.
We have already
mentioned the drastic reduction of amphibian and bird species, but
small mammals are also disappearing at an alarming rate in the UK
and Europe. As on every level of nature, this has a knock on effect,
causing a species reduction all along the natural food chain - and
eventually extinction. With fewer mammals, owls are now also an
endangered species. They feed on small rodents which normally live
in long grassy areas, ground cover and sheltered hedgerows. The
hedgerows are disappearing and most farmland is sterile due the
use of insecticides, hence less insects for food and no places for
birds or mammals to nest. For example, an owl feeds its young on
small rodents like mice and voles. But the further it has to travel
to find them, its young have far less chance of survival. And with
the huge reduction of natural ground cover, including over tidy
gardens, mammals have very few habitats left.
And so... at least a half of your garden should remain "un-manicured".
Scatter some wild flower seeds around these designated areas and
then let the grass grow. Ground coverage with vegetation is what
will attract small mammals.
Food and habitat supplements
for small mammals.
Plant some berry
trees, nut trees and hedgerow bushes around the borders of your
garden. These will take some time to grow so you should also provide
some food supplement. Most field and hedgerow rodents are herbivores.
The wood mouse loves acorns, beech mast and hazel nuts. But if you
don't have these growing in your garden yet, then they do like the
occasional digestive biscuit! But of course, bird seeds and nuts
left scattered around edges of your wild life boundaries will also
be a good supplement for them.
To provide homes for your small garden mammals - particularly if
you don't have hedgerows and sheltered areas - here's an easy way
to make a mouse house: (Children, get a grown-up to supervise and
do the cutting bits!) Get some old tennis balls and cut a 30mm hole
in each ball and then spear them though the wall of the ball, opposite
the hole with a thin bamboo stick or hard twig around 30cm long.
(carefully pierce the ball first using a sharp tool) Cut little
notches in the stick so mice can run up and down them easily. Get
some dried grass or dried moss and stuff some inside the tennis
ball. Then push the stick with the ball on the end of it into the
long grass so that the ball is level with the top of the grass.
It's a great mouse house, specially for tiny harvest mice.
Conservationists were recently installing plastic tubes in hedgerows
around the UK to help re-establish the dwindling numbers of dormice.
The tubes provide ideal nesting places and so far at least 10% of
them show signs of occupation of this sleepy animal. Dormice sleep
for eight months of the year. The rest of the time is searching
for suitable habitat which has dwindled alarmingly over the past
35 years. If you have undisturbed hedgerows around your garden try
this experiment yourself. But first, you must find out exactly what
you need and most importantly what size of tubing. We suggest you
get in touch with either English Nature or The People's Trust for
Endangered Species and ask for details on what to do. (Remember
though, never touch or handle a dormouse. It is illegal to do so.)
a good idea to carefully mow a few narrow winding pathways
around your natural long growing areas so that you can get access
to these places if you need to ... and besides, if carefully designed,
it provides an attractive perspective to your wildlife garden, as
you can stroll around the pathways and see the activity without
disturbing it. However, don't use a strimmer! Frogs and toads are
regular victims of grass strimmers (and even shears). Always feel
your way around grassy areas and check there is no wildlife tucked
flat at the bottom of the vegetation before you start cutting.
By the way...
misguided belief, attracting small mammals into your garden does
not mean they are going to move into your house as well!
If you are setting up a well balanced wildlife garden with plenty
of shelter and natural food sources, the last place they will want
to explore is the inside of a human's house! Wood Mice, Harvest
Mice and Field Voles are what their names suggest. They live outdoors
and mind their own business!
A little more on the Dormouse...
is becoming very rare. They need thick hedgerows and forest environments
to have any chance of survival. They sleep between October an April
in a rolled ball.
It's important that you don't disturb the hedgerows, nor clear
the dead foliage from underneath them. This is important cover and
protection for wildlife of all kinds. Dead foliage also mulches
down, feeding natural organic nutrients back into the hedgerow plants
Bats have extremely
delicate features. They are warm and soft to touch and are very
clean animals. Many types of bat are now rare species, and you must
not, in any circumstances disturb their habitat. If you have them
in your attic, leave them alone. They do absolutely no harm to your
building whatsoever, and are wonderful additions to your extended
wildlife family. In fact you may not even realize that you have
bats in your loft. They nest in such tightly enclosed areas in between
rafters and walls, that you are unlikely to spot them. Usually the
only sign of bat presence is a neat pattern of harmless bat droppings
on the floor or side of a wall.
If a bat takes a wrong turn and comes into your house through an
open window.. don't panic! Close the door of the room and leave
the window wide open and the lights off. If the bat still hasn't
left in a couple of hours. Get a thin but coarse net (so the bat
doesn't get caught up in it, and carefully lower it over the bat.
DO NOT scrape the bat off with a piece of card and into a bucket
- (Yup ... VeggieGlobal was once instructed that this was "the
way to do it" by a loud-mouthed know-it-all when a bat flew
into a theatre and stuck itself on the ceiling!!) If you use any
scraping instrument you will damage its delicate feet and wings.
With the net covering the bat, carefully lift it off the ceiling
or curtain with thick-gloved hands and take it straight to the window
and free it. We recommend thick gloves in the extremely remote chance
that the bat may be carrying rabies. The chances are extremely low
but as with any wild animal, it's always best not to come in direct
skin-to-skin contact with them, just in case.
(VeggieGlobal has rescued many pipistrelle bats from various situations
like this, and in fact if you gently cup them into your hands and
leave them to recover from a fright, they'll just doze off, or else
make themselves at home and start washing themselves!... and the
same goes for harvest mice! ...)
insectivores, (but they do love a plate of non-fishy cat or dog
food with bits of cutup apples or pears!) They are also very friendly
creatures, but again, becoming an increasingly rare sight. This,
as usual is due to destruction of their natural habitat and scarce
food sources. So feed a hedgehog whenever possible. Don't feed it
bread and milk. This isn't good for them. Their normal diet is insects,
slugs and worms, plus fallen fruit and fungi. Hedgehogs generally
sleep during the day. If you see a hedgehog out in the daytime,
it may be unwell. If it's one you are familiar with keep an eye
on it. If it seems disorientated, put it in a box with some straw
and take him to your local wildlife hospital. Hedgehogs can get
abscesses, and a vet should be able to help. Remember, NEVER use
any type of slug pellet in your garden. They will kill hedgehogs
and their young - because slugs are part of a hedgehogs diet. Let
the animals themselves be your "pest" controllers.
note!: Don't burn garden refuse. If you have a place where you
want to build up a pile of leaves then do so but leave the pile
over the winter until late April. If you can cover it with a waterproof
sheeting then all the better. This will provide an ideal hibernation
house for Hedgehogs. (If you need to dispose of some of your garden
refuse like grass cuttings, then take them to your local household
dump where many of them now have a recycling area for garden waste.
This gets mulched down and used for compost). If you insist on making
a bonfire then build it and burn it... don't give time for a poor
hedgehog to burrow inside and then get burnt to death. Frogs and
toads and slowworms are also attracted to "bonfire" piles.
So overall, VeggieGlobal simply advises that you never build bonfires
to burn garden leaves and wood - or refuse of any kind. Either create
a compost area - and for the excess garden waste you can't compost
yourself, take it to the garden waste recycling tip.
Even in a wildlife
garden there may be areas where you would prefer a little less animal
antics ... usually your lawn or vegetable patch. Of course when
it comes to lawns we are talking about moles. We have concocted
a deterrent method which is not actually unpleasant to moles at
all, its just inconvenient for them! It works in the same way as
if we humans reached an area of stinging nettles or poison ivy on
a country walk. We simply avoid it by walking around it. A single
stinging nettle on its own is no problem, but a whole clump of them
is, and this is the principle of how our mole deterrent works. There
are some plants which moles tend to steer clear off. Just the odd
plant here and there won't stop them from wandering into your lawn
but creating a ring of them around your lawn may make Mr and Mrs
Mole think twice about attempting to cross into it!
seem to have a hard time because so many people become infuriated
by the earthy bumps they can leave on the lawn when coming up to
grab a worm or two for dinner. If you are keeping a lawn area of
your wildlife garden in a condition that you would prefer to be
mole free here are some of our tips.
Keeping moles out of the lawn
area of your wildlife garden. (The part which you would like to
keep bump free!)
A mole's runway
and therefore the bumps you see on lawns are usually the shallow
type, used once or twice when it is searching for food. Moles more
substantial main runways (or arteries) are usually part of a connecting
social network which run under paths, hedgerows and even roads -
so your earthy lawn bumps are usually just short-use remote tributaries
off the main runs. Because the depth of the "tributary" mole runs
which enter lawn areas, are usually only 2 to 3 inches underground,
the first and most effective line of defence is to ensure that your
mown lawn area is bordered with mole deterring plants before they
get too keen to explore it. If you already have a mole hill lawn
then the first thing to do is aim to send the "little-nearly-blind-miners"
back to the other side of your lawn border! So assuming this is
the case you need to put out some natural organic mole deterrent
sachets, which we describe below how to make.
A SAFETY NOTE:
Wormwood oil and castor oil can be toxic in high doses but the combination
of wormwood and castor oil in this recipe poses no threat to wildlife
or humans. However for extra precaution keep these sachets out of
sight from children by covering them with a thin layer of earth
when in situ. Castor oil is a fairly proven natural mole deterrent
but should not be used on its own in concentrate. Far better results
should be achievable when combined with the following sachet recipe
which blends most of the known effective natural ingredients to
Always use fresh organic ingredients whenever possible. (If home-grown,
pick and subsequently dry the herbs mixture during new moon phase.)
The amount below is enough for approx 8 or more sachets.
2 tablespoons of dried crushed rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons dried crushed wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) leaves
2 tablespoons dried sage leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons crushed cloves
3 tablespoons dried crushed elder leaves
2 cloves of crushed garlic
3 stems of chopped (dried) chives (optional)
Aprox 50ml of vodka (or isopropyl alcohol)
3 tablespoons of castor oil.
Mix the rosemary, wormwood, sage, cloves, elder leaves, garlic and
chives together in an open bowl. Then begin to pour over the vodka.
Add as much vodka so as to turn the mix into a "watery" mulch. Leave
to soak for 24 hours (The alcohol helps draw out the active ingredients
and helps to release their scents)
Cut a 12 cm square piece of muslin and soak it in a small plate
of castor oil. Lift the soaked muslin out of the plate and lay flat.
Now fill the muslin with a couple of tablespoons of the mixture.
Lift all four corners up and tie it all into a sachet with natural
raffia. Repeat this until all the mixture is used.
On your lawn, push a herbal sachet deep into the mole hill and also
leave one on the surface just covered with a thin layer of earth.
Work around your lawn and its borders systematically until you think
the mole activity on the lawn has ceased.
After a few weeks in the ground recover what sachets you can and
give them a bash with a wooden mallet to release the scent once
again and then replant. (Depending how fast ingredients are composting
this is usually only good for one replant)
LAWN BORDER PLANTS.
Along with the repellent sachets to send off moles from your lawn,
the following border plants and shrubs should effectively keep moles
outside your lawn perimeter (The sachets laid along the border just
beneath the surface should double your defence.) Here is a list
of mole repelling plants: Daffodils. Wild Garlic. Chives. Wormwood
(Type: Artemisia absinthium). Elder. Castor Plant (Not suitable
near children. Only to be grown in warm humid native regions and
with very responsible care)
Foxes (plus deer and badgers)
may be a common sight in built up areas, but most are in a sorry
state of health. Mange is a main problem, a parasitic infestation
triggered mainly by poor nutrition. The
fox population has in fact decreased in recent years mainly from
mange disease. Remember, animals like foxes and badgers lived in
city areas before people did! The reason it may seem that there
are more foxes than in previous years is simply because humans are
driving animals away from their natural habitat, building houses
and superstores on them.
To help build a healthy wildlife population, it is in our interest
to provide them with food as a replacement for what they can't forage
for themselves since their habitat has been destroyed. Foxes and
badgers like dog and cat food, so empty a tin on the grass at dusk
and mix it up with a few digestive biscuits, sit back and watch.
If you see a young baby fox, leave it alone (the same goes with
young deer) As with fledging birds, its most likely that their mother
is near. If you make contact with the baby the mother may run off
and the baby could be abandoned. Foxes like to rummage around in
dustbins for scraps of food and many suffer terrible injuries from
used tins. When you open a can of food make sure you completely
remove the lid before disposing of it, then completly flatten the
tin. This is so animals can't get their heads or noses caught inside
them as they sniff out tins for food. This is also a fate that hedgehogs
final fox note: It's a pure myth that foxes try to kill cats.
If you have cats with foxes around there's more chance that a cat
will chase a fox. Foxes are actually quite playful with cats and
may only chase them in return jest. Did you know that if a fox was
left to wander through open fields with lots of chickens it would
leave them alone ... if it was hungry it may catch one. Allow a
fox to get into an enclosed pen or chicken hut and it will kill
most of them ... but so would a cat ... It's all to do with man-made
environments creating unnatural spaces for animals, which don't
harmonize with the natural primal behavior of the species in question.
Humans can also behave strangely in unfamiliar environments!
plants - and most importantly bees!
The kind of
plants growing in your garden will dictate the kind of insects,
birds (and small mammals) that are drawn to it. But before anything,
the long grassy areas of your wildlife garden will most certainly
attract grasshoppers and crickets; a soothing summer-sound and perhaps
an indicator that your garden is proving to be cool hangout for
a diverse mixture of wildlife. We will add more details about insects
and plants as Looking-Glass (VeggieGlobal) continues to evolve.
But for the moment here are some tips:
Ants, hoverflies and ladybirds are aphid eating insects and are
your best friends when keeping plant infestations at bay. But if
you have a really bad aphid infestation (very unlikely in a naturally
balanced garden) then cut the branches away where its most infested
and dispose of them. If your flowers have blackfly blast them off
with a powerful hose.
The more variations of different colored plants, the more insects
you'll attract. Buddleia is of course an instant attraction to butterflies
and dead easy (and cheap) to grow. (But yellow flowers in particular
will attract aphid eating insects.
Unfortunately, the modern trend of garden planning is to "design"
a garden full of non-native and often evergreen shrubs - cocooned
in concrete slabs or surrounded by decking or shingle - and purely
for the visual satisfaction of the house owners. This ignorant method
of creating a garden does nothing for the local wildlife and most
importantly nothing for the insect species. Bees in particular are
one of the world's most important insects, and one of the main links
in the chain which maintains life on this planet! Why? Because bees
pollinate - which means as they pick up pollen from one plant they
then carry it to another, which fertilizes the plant allowing it
to reproduce. Without bees to bring life to plants there would eventually
be no plants - and that means no vegetation which in turn means
no food. This is just another reason why it's so important that
you populate your garden with native flowers so that the busy bees
can get on with their incredibly important work. Bees are in very
serious decline and it's up to you to help reverse this catastrophic
situation. So, get rid of the concrete, shingle and decking and
help bring out the natural elements through the soil in your garden.
Root your garden back into the Earth and watch it blossom!
Don't snip off
dead flowers... the seeds in them provide essential food for many
types of birds. You'll find many species of birds visiting your
garden in the late autumn to feed of your old flower heads. Plants
thrive far better if left alone! Feed your birds, but make sure
you keep it up, as they will depend on you. So whenever possible
leave out bird seed, grains, uncooked fine porridge oats (unsalted)
finely crushed peanuts (unsalted) and finely chopped raisins and
If leaving peanuts out on a feeder table ensure they are very finely
crushed. More preferably, pack peanuts in a traditional wire mesh
feeder so that birds have to peck at the nuts in small mouthfuls.
feed birds bread as this can a) choke and kill baby birds. b) Can
kill birds of all ages in freezing temperatures due to high salt
content in bread making them excessively thirsty. (Causes birds
to die of cold due to icy water in their bodies). VeggieGlobal's
own research has currently concluded one carefully managed exception
to feeding birds a certain type of bread, being very small non-stodgy
crumbs of highly seeded organic wholemeal grain bread only in very
early spring before breeding or late summer and only when mixed
with other typical bird foods. Only attempt this if you feel suitably
competent at advanced bird feeding. Rember never feed birds with
any food which contains added salt.
To attract woodpeckers set up a wire mesh nut tube which doesn't
swing around but is solidly attached to a tree or bracket. And don't
forget the all-important nesting boxes to help encourage all your
local bird species.
areas will help to regenerate the disappearing world of small animals,
which although unpleasant to dwell on are the food source of a now
sparse owl population and other native birds of prey. Without a
healthy population of rodents such as mice or voles etc., owls have
to spend more time searching for food rather than breed or feed
their young... hence the dramatic reduction of their species.
Finely crushed (unsalted) peanuts, seed and chicken corn for doves
and wood pigeons is fine. Nuts in a hanging container is perfect
for most birds. Make sure the container doesn't swing, so that woodpeckers
find it easy to feed. And don't bother trying to stop squirrels
feeding from nut containers... what's the point? They need to eat
as well. In fact throw some seed, crushed nut,s chopped raisins
and chopped sultanas on the ground for all animals and birds to
enjoy. Magpies, jays and crows are known to frighten off other birds.
But if you regularly put out enough food to go round, you'll notice
that the magpies begin to leave other birds alone. The same goes
for squirrels. Like magpies, squirrels can occasionally attack birds
nests to eat eggs and even chicks, but these actions are attributed
to lack of food available otherwise. Because humans have destroyed
so much natural food resources of wildlife, these more drastic actions
by magpies and squirrels may become more common. So it's entirely
your responsibility to feed ALL the wildlife in your garden and
treat them with equal respect. Don't frighten away squirrels, crows
or magpies. You are just creating potential carnage and problems
elsewhere by doing so. Instead, feed them so that they don't need
to raid nests to feed themselves. By taking these commonsense actions,
you'll find that the whole menagerie of your garden wildlife population
will tolerate each other surprisingly well... because they know
there's enough to go round!
Birds and Windows
wild birds are killed each year by flying into window glass. By
feeding birds close to your house you are inadvertently creating
a much higher risk of them flying straight into a glass window when
startled. Feeding close your house and near people means birds are
startled far more often than if their feeding area is kept a safe
distance from human disturbance. The reason birds and windows don't
mix is because (from a bird's eye view) when picking up food from
ground level, all they see in a glass window is the reflection of
sky and probably trees - and a birds instinct is to always head
of for sky (and trees). (Note: double glazed windows reflect twice
as much sky as a single pane of glass). The consequences are devastating
as birds hit the glass headfirst, often breaking their necks.
Although it may give you personal pleasure watching birds feeding
close by your windows, it is vitally important that you site their
feeding area as far away from the house as possible. It's also a
good idea to put obstacles in front of windows to break up the sky
/ tree reflection. Light colour curtains on windows also help to
break up the sky reflection.
Note: Greenhouses are another common danger for birds. Never
leave a greenhouse door open if you have birds feeding nearby. They
can easily wander inside and then panic. Again, their instinct is
to fly straight for the sky which, of course they can see through
the glass of a greenhouse.
Birds and wind
As more and
more people erect domestic wind turbines in their properties to
generate electricity, reports are rapidly increasing of birds being
killed as they fly into the spinning blades. If you have a wind
turbine, surround the entire blade system with a box or sphere made
of chicken wire (mesh. The wind can still blow through, but the
birds will fly around it.
The most useful
thing you can do when young birds begin to leave the nest is to
keep your cat or dog away from the nest area. In fact, just keep
them indoors until the fledglings have learnt to fly from the ground
and perch safely in trees. If you see a young bird on the ground
that looks as if its lost, leave it alone. Its mother is most likely
only a short distance away finding food. Move away from the area
and return in a couple of hours. You're bound to find that the young
bird has gone. If you are concerned that a barely feathered baby
bird has prematurely fallen from its nest and is clearly being neglected
by its parents, only then should you take action and telephone a
registered animal rescue centre with a no-kill policy for advice.
Only in the
following circumstances should you attempt to help a young bird
on its way to survival with this simple but highly effective method:
Have you found
a young bird with undeveloped wings on the ground?
Are the parents still close by?
Does the bird look undamaged?
Does the bird look as if it has no chance of flying up to perch
on a tree and therefore stay safe from cats and birds of prey?
Have you observed from distance for at least three hours to completely
asses the situation?
If the answer
to all the above questions is yes then here's what you can do:
It is likely that the baby bird has fallen or has been blown from
its nearby nest prematurely. To protect it from cats, foxes and
birds of prey over the next few days you will need to rehouse the
bird for its own safety - whilst completely retaining its freedom
and parental contact.
First, get a dark green wire framed hanging basket (if it's a dove
or blackbird etc., make sure it's big enough - in other words, try
and match the size of the hanging basket to suit the type of bird).
Then get a bag of moss. First, line the hanging basket with a brown
mulched paper liner and make a few small holes in the bottom. Now
pad the basket with plenty of moss.
nest is now ready for positioning.
Wedge the basket in a tree closest to where you believe the original
nest is. Make sure its around 2 metres or higher off the ground.
Try and make sure the basket is positioned in a way that makes it
impossible for cats to get to ... In fact there are various ways
you can attach the basket to a tree, even by screwing it to the
trunk itself. But whatever you do make sure it is properly secure
and has plenty of tree canopy above to keep the rain off it. Make
sure the parents will be able to spot the nest, so don't camouflage
it too much.
Now you have your nest in place, approach the baby-bird from behind
and gently pick it up and put it straight into the nest. (always
wear gloves so as not to imprint your scent on the bird, beacause
this could cause the parent to abandon it) Once in the nest the
baby will most likely settle down immediately. Keep an eye on the
nest, but leave the young bird alone from this point. Stay well
away for the nest, so that the parents can get used to the situation.
This may take hours and you possibly won't see activity until the
next day. But eventually you will most likely find that the parents
are attending the baby, feeding and grooming it and even tidying
Remember ...It is important that you stay well away from the nest
at all times.
This "rehabilitation nest" system works far more often
than not. It keeps the baby and its parents unaffected by trauma
as much as possible. The only intervention you need to do throughout
this is just to keep a distant eye on the nest over the next few
days - and if the young one prematurely falls out again, just go
and put it back in. You'll notice the baby will periodically jump
around in the nest as it exercises its wings. Finally, in a few
days it will be strong enough to attempt proper flight, aided by
its parents. It may fall to the ground at this point, but all you
need to do is observe to see if its wings are now developed enough
to get airborne.
Note: You'll probably find other birds waiting to move in to your
rather palatial nest after the baby has finally left!
An injured or sick animal
find an injured or sick animal in your garden, the prime rule is
to make sure it's kept warm. Get a cardboard box, cut a few air
holes in the top and side and place newspapers inside with some
loose material. Get a hot water bottle, fill it up with warm to
hot (NOT boiling) water and place the box on top of it. Put the
animal in the box and check the heat from the bottle is a comfortable
temperature. Keep the animal away from drafts and make sure there
is a constant supply of water (not ice cold). Take the animal to
a wildlife hospital as soon as possible. Keep the box covered completely
with a blanket, but make sure there are plenty of air holes in the
box. An animal will relax and calm down when in a very dark environment.
The less contact you have with an animal at these initial stages,
the more chance of its survival. Sick animals die of fright and
stress more often than their actual injuries.
Here's another VeggieGlobal idea to
encourage tits into your garden
an amazingly simple way to encourage the nesting and roosting of
tits (of almost all variations) and to help recover numbers of the
small bird population. The VeggieGlobal Hanging Basket Bird Village
takes just minutes to build and install.
First, get hold of a wire mesh hanging basket with the mesh holes
between 20mm and 33mm apart. These holes can easily be stretched
to create holes that are suitable to attract birds that prefer specific
entrance sizes. For example, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Pied
Flycatchers and Tree Sparrows prefer a hole around 28 mm, whereas
the House Sparrow and Nuthatch prefer a larger hole of 32 mm. Now
fill the hanging basket to the brim with moss.
NOTE: Moss can be bought in bags at garden centres or preferably,
if you have a mossy lawn, can be raked out or scarified usually
in late autumn /winter, then dried out during the winter; either
to be then used for this purpose or to line open mesh hanging baskets
for flower planting.
To help slightly compress the moss, add a 20 mm layer of clean soil
on the surface of the moss-filled hanging basket. That's it! You
have now made your bird village.
Now hang the basket (securely so it can't blow down) a minimum of
2.4 metres or higher above ground level and just underneath some
kind of roof area so that the basket doesn't get saturated when
it's raining. To give the birds a head start, push your finger into
three areas around the basket (about halfway down) to create inviting
holes. Now sit back and watch.
Within weeks of springtime activity you'll hopefully have not just
one but even three or four tits either nesting or making the bird
village their night-time sleeping holes! They will dig themselves
into the basket and snuggle in for the night. You can even locate
the basket near a window so you can watch this amazing spectacle.
They don't seem to be that bothered about how close they are to
human activity. However, like all animals and birds they can sense
when you are deliberately watching them and that can make them a
bit nervous! But if you are simply busy in your kitchen, bedroom
or living room, the birds in the basket just outside your window
will also be bedding down for the night or tending to their young!
We encourage all VeggieGlobal visitors
of this wildlife garden site to try the hanging basket bird village
out for themselves.
NOTE: As you may have read further up this page, birds and glass
windows do not mix, so if you do hang a bird village basket close
to your windows make sure the window glass is obscured in places
so that birds don't think it's something they can fly "through"
So far, the VeggieGlobal / Looking-Glass hanging basket bird village
has been refuge for four tits, but we expect that other types of
small birds may well benefit from this extremely effective bird
sanctuary. So, if you create one of these and find it populated
by other types of birds we want to hear from you. Please use our
page to tell us your experiences with your hanging
basket bird village!
TIP. If possible, add a nut feeder around around 6 metres away from
the basket to encourage easy feeding.
piece of a Wildlife Wonderland
If you have
followed the guidelines we have laid out here you would have hopefully
managed to create an active haven of wildlife all around your garden.
The results will be clear to see over year or so. And you can be
proud to say you have played your part by reintroducing our declining
wildlife back into one small part of the world ... right outside
your house ... and it will be a pleasure for you to enjoy as well.
of this VeggieGlobal mini-site highlights the importance of integrating
a final element; to create the perfectly balanced wildlife garden
which will help
reduce food miles and wasted packaging.
READING - A great selection of wildlife gardening books
information for Schools
for UK Schools & Colleges Undertaking Wildlife Projects
If you are a
school working on a wildlife project and would like to develop a
wildlife area or garden based on VeggieGlobal's schemes then you
can request further information not currently available on-line.
us with your details and initial ideas on a wildlife
area and we will try to provide you with further, more customised
find more tips and ideas for a school wildlife garden
John O'Donnell (VeggieGlobal.com and Looking-Glass.co.uk)
Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents
of these websites in any form is prohibited.
UK and Ireland Menu
1 - Introduction - your garden and how to help bring back wildlife
2 - Pond life & how to make a wildlife pond
are here> PART
3 - Mammals, birds, plants and insects - environment and care
4 - Reduce food miles and grow your own fruit and veg
information for Schools
This Planet With The Animals - a useful guide to
help you live side by side with your animal friends.
UK and Ireland
may also wish to visit the Wildlife
Files section here at VeggieGlobal for more advice
about wildlife friendly gardens.