Wildlife gardening – myths exploded

There are many myths regarding wildlife gardening that have grown up with time. The Sheffield University BUGS research exploded many of these:

‘Only big gardens are of value’ – This is not true, even tiny gardens can offer excellent environments for most insects. Sheffield University found that lots of little gardens together created a large and varied habitat for wildlife.

‘Native species are better for wildlife’ – This is not true, the results from the BUGS project showed that there was no correlation between the number of species of wildlife and the number of native plants in gardens.

‘Wildlife gardens must contain nettles for butterfly breeding’ – Nettles are everywhere in the wild and we do not need to grow them in our gardens. Bizarrely in the BUGS research gardens butterflies didn’t use the nettle patches that had been specifically placed in the gardens at all.

‘Buying special homes for animals and insects is necessary and effective’ – Again this is not true. The BUGS project found that bumblebee nests didn’t work and that piles of wood were more effective than man-made insect houses. Bird boxes were good but only if correctly positioned (which most aren’t) and dormouse and hedgehog boxes wont entice dormice or hedgehogs into your garden unless they live in woods next door.

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