And finally… rocking robins
Barratt Developments Scotland is putting nature centre stage to inspire homeowners to create their own nature-friendly gardens.
The homebuilder, which includes Barratt and David Wilson Homes, has transformed a show home garden into a festival for wildlife, highlighting playful features that help an abundance of animals to thrive while creating a fun environment for children and adults alike.
Taken together, UK gardens and balconies are twice the size of Greater London, covering 4,000km2 – space that with a little care and attention could make a big difference for nature. This could be as simple as introducing bird feeders and water baths to planting wildlife-friendly flowers and fruit trees.
Estelle Sykes, sales director for Barratt Developments West Scotland, said: “We work really closely with a team of landscapers and professionals to develop nature-friendly outdoor spaces of all sizes in our developments, including gardens, balconies and communal spaces that are now blooming and buzzing with life.
“The warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to put the UK’s abundant, diverse and beautiful native species centre stage. After the sad demise of Tree in the Park, we’re expecting wildlife with varying tastes to flock to our garden festival, from rocking robins and swifties in the sky to the ‘beatles’ in the grass. And like all good parties, we’re sure there will be someone doing the worm.”
Sadly, nature in the UK is in trouble, having lost 38 million birds over the last 50 years, with house sparrows, starlings and song thrushes all considered birds of conservation concern. The UK is home to spectacular wildlife and internationally important habitats, and yet it is in the bottom 10 per cent of countries globally for protecting nature. Together with a 76% decline in butterflies and the loss of a third of urban hedgehogs since 2000, wildlife really needs a helping hand.
Simple tips for making gardens or balconies nature friendly spaces include:
- Building a bee hotel for solitary bees
- Adding a wide, shallow bird bath
- Growing a wildflower meadow – a long, luscious lawn is good for nature, so ditch the mower
- Installing nestboxes to help nature in your area
- Creating a simple hedgehog feeding station.