World Wildlife Day 2016

World Wildlife Day 2016

The theme for this year’s World Wildlife Day is “The future of wildlife is in our hands” and we are being encouraged to think about the link between people, wildlife and sustainable development.

There will be a lot of focus on elephants as they’ve been singled out this year due to the immense pressures on them in the wild – habitat loss, human/wildlife conflict, and of course the alarming rise in poaching.

But it’s not all about the appealing animals, the cuddly and well-known, the United Nations have also pointed out:

“the pressing need for national action to ensure the survival in the wild of both charismatic and lesser known species.”

So whilst we may not have a local elephant we can save, we can all make a little bit of difference towards the survival of the wildlife on our doorstep.

  • Before you reach for the slug pellets, remember that hedgehogs and songbirds thrive on them – don’t pass that poison down the foodchain. After all, what’s a few holes in your flowers and leaves? It’s not as if you’re growing for competition!
  • And if you encourage those songbirds into your garden, they’ll pick off the greenfly and feed them to their young – so you don’t need to spray your plants with an all-encompassing bug killer that could be responsible for killing our bees!
  • Why not see if you’ve got room for a few wildlife friendly plants in the garden – it doesn’t need to be a huge investment, a lot of seed companies now sell packets of annual wildflowers that can be grown in pots just for the summer. These provide the nectar and pollen to feed bees and other insects….which will attract families of young birds (and maybe even bats if you get some evening flowering varieties!)
  • Find a bit of space for a bird box or two, either up a tree or on the house wall, because this is the time of year when birds are searching for their new, safe home. Imagine the look on your childrens faces when they see baby birds fledging!
  • If you’ve got a little bit of rough garden out of sight, think about leaving it that way – it could be the ideal habitat for wildlife. Maybe even invest in a hedgehog house or have a go at building your own ‘bug hotel’ – there’s loads of information and plans on the internet!

They all want what we want for our own families – a safe, secure home and a dependable supply of food.

If you would like to build your own bird nesting box, have a look at the excellent RSPB page here: Build a nesting box

And if you’re not sure what to plant for wildlife, try the expert advice on the RHS website here: Plants for wildlife

So this World Wildlife Day, why not do a little bit to help the wildlife in your neighbourhood?