Frances Tophill author and BBC Gardener’s World presenter is supporting Surrey Wildlife Trust’s new online wildlife garden survey. Anyone can take the survey, from complete beginners to advanced gardeners, and in just a few minutes find out how their garden scores for wildlife.
The quick and easy online survey measures gardens on five essential features: food, shelter, water, connectivity between gardens and natural solutions. The survey shows that every type of gardener, from those with small gardens to large, can take simple steps to help restore wildlife in their street.
Frances Tophill said: “The survey shows just how easy it is to encourage more wild and wonderful creatures into gardens. If we step back and do a little bit less in our gardens, we can do so much more for declining insects and wildlife. Less mowing. Less weeding and more thought about how our gardens connect to the wider landscape. It’s that easy to help wildlife thrive.”
Surrey Wildlife Trust’s number one tip is to just add water to your garden. The next small step is to leave a patch of your garden to grow wild with weeds and long grass. Taking part in #NoMowMay is one of the best things gardeners can do to help wildlife flourish. Give the lawn mower a rest for a month and the longer grass will soon become a rich habitat for insects and spiders which the birds will love too, hopping around to find tasty insect snacks.
Claire Gibbs, award winning principal ecologist at Surrey Wildlife Trust and judge for Gardener’s World Garden of the Year Awards for 2021, said: “New this year in the survey is a whole section on connectivity, focusing on the importance of wildlife being able to move around both within your garden and using neighbouring gardens as stepping stones to travel down entire streets.
“Creating street wide wildlife groups to encourage wildlife gardening and maybe some wildflower sowing on road verges is fun and builds a great community spirit. Everyone will enjoy the beautiful array of flowers and even more importantly it will enable wildlife to move and thrive.”
There are more than 20,000 hectares of gardens in Surrey, which covers 12 per cent of the county. This is more than all of Surrey’s nature reserves put together, so gardens are vital to helping restore wildlife across our county.
The Surrey Wildlife Trust wildlife gardening survey can be shared on social media and WhatsApp groups to encourage famly, friends and neighbours to join in so they too can welcome more wildlife to their streets. Why not share seeds, cuttings, wildlife gardening tips or even create a wildlife gardening group in your street?
Take the survey at www.surreywildlifetrust.org/wildlife-gardening-survey and download your free beetle and action for insects guide. Surrey Wildlife Trust is offering an opportunity to find out more about wildlife gardening online, by email and also with a programme of free online talks on wildlife gardening from beginners to advanced gardeners. For more information visit www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events