I recently went to a forum given by Dr Steve Head on ‘The Why and How of Wildlife Gardening’. It was a fascinating evening and Steve was not only passionate about wildlife but also realistic regarding the needs of the gardener. He informed us of some research done by Sheffield University (the BUGS project – Biodiversity in Urban GardenS). The BUGS project was actually started in 2001 when sixty-one gardens in Sheffield were used for detailed surveys of fauna and flora, and another thirty-five for trials of wildlife gardening techniques. Some of the facts that they found are really interesting, such as:
- The average number of plant species in individual gardens was 119.
- Larger gardens had more species.
- The most species poor garden still had an incredible 48 different plant species.
- The record holder had an impressive 268 species.
Another interesting feature of garden floras is that most species are very rare: 490 species occurred only once, and only 35 species occurred in more than half the gardens.
Makes you want to go outside and start counting doesn’t it?
Upon doing a bit of further research into Wildlife gardening I realise that there is a lot of ignorance and many myths about what is good for wildlife and what isn’t. I have therefore added Wildlife Gardening as a new category on my blog and will contribute to it on a regular basis.