Last month, The Wildlife Trusts launched a new film featuring celebrities including our President Emeritus, Sir David Attenborough, to launch our Wilder Future campaign. Shot in the style of a movie trailer, it aims to highlight the urgent action that is needed to turn back the clock and bring back our cherished wildlife.
In just 24 hours the trailer was viewed online over one million times and has now been screened in over 500 cinemas across the UK. For it to have real impact, we need to inspire people to take action at home, at school and even at work to make new spaces for wildlife.
Private gardens cover more land than all the nature reserves in the UK. They are already important for nature; but any garden can be made more welcoming to wildlife. Simple steps like putting up a bird or bat box, adding a bird feeder, or putting out a dish of water really make a difference. Adding more nectar bearing plants will boost the survival chances of pollinators, from bees to hoverflies. Planting a tree will provide a range of opportunities from safe perching and roosting sites for birds and nooks and crannies under bark where insects such as ladybirds can hibernate.
The single best way to transform a garden for wildlife, is to add a pond. A pond doesn’t have to be huge to be a wildlife haven — even an old sink sunk into the ground will provide useful habitat. If you have space for a pond, your garden could become an oasis for frogs, newts and damselflies. Mammals including hedgehogs may stop by for a drink and birds will enjoy bathing in the shallows.
The real attraction of creating a pond, is seeing how quickly it will become colonised by wildlife. Whilst it’s too late to expect frog spawn this year, a pond dug in the next few weeks and filled from a water butt, will quickly attract insects such as water boatmen. Frogs will take up residence within months and dragonflies should also be drawn to it over the summer giving an opportunity to observe their colours and delicate wing structure up close.
If we see a repeat of the long hot spell, we had last year, a pond created now will also provide a welcome new source of water and a cool resting spot for wildlife. As well as benefiting wildlife, you’ll benefit from close encounters of the wildlife kind in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Creating a pond from scratch might seem daunting but there’s lots of advice available. For details about simple actions you can take to help nature’s recovery, including a downloadable Wild about Ponds booklet visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/actions. For details of how you can join our campaign for a Wilder Future visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/wilder-future.