Today (Saturday 22nd May) is the Convention on Biological Diversity's Biodiversity Day, being celebrated under the slogan 'We're part of the solution #ForNature'. Here are some tips for gardening with wildlife in mind:
Our gardens are a vast living landscape and a really important habitat for a range of insects, birds and mammals.
The way we choose to manage them can make a big difference to the Isle of Man Biosphere's biodiversity.
By growing wildlife-friendly plants, you can attract more animals to your garden and create a haven for wildlife.
You can attract a fascinating diversity of wildlife into your garden by making a few simple adjustments:
1. Creating a pond
2. Creating a log pile
3. Leaving grass to grow long
4. Planting pollinator-friendly flowers
Bumblebee on apple blossom
5. Planting trees, hedges and shrubs (provide shelter for birds and mammals, leaves for caterpillars to eat (and therefore more food for birds) and flowers, fruit and berries for a wide range of species)
6. Creating a compost heap (provides a warm, moist environment for woodlice, centipedes and rove beetles which provide food for birds, amphibians and reptiles)
Gardening for bumblebees:
No matter what size garden you have, you can do your bit for bumblebees by planting at least two kinds of bee-friendly flower for every flower period. Bee-friendly flowers are rich in pollen and nectar which bees can easily access throughout the year.
The best habitats for bees are those that offer plenty of flowers to feed on during the entire active phase of the bee’s lifecycle (from March to October). This will ensure that there is a good supply of pollen at all of the crucial times:
When the queens are establishing nests;
When nests are growing;
When nests are producing new queens and males;
When queens are fattening up for hibernation.
Bumblebee on apple flower
All photos by Aline Thomas.