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13 November 2014

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You are in: Leicester > Nature > Nature Features > Creative Nature

A bumble bee on a flower

Creative Nature

You can get involved with BBC Springwatch and help protect the nation's wildlife without even leaving your own back garden.

If you set your mind to it, it really is amazing the wildlife you can attract to your back garden.

As part of Springwatch BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth and Julie Mayer took the Mid-Morning show on the road to the gardens of two listeners to look into the world of urban wildlife.

Find out how with just a touch of DIY you can provide a friendly environment for birds, bees and hedgehogs in your garden.

Robin on a spade

Listen: Springwatch - Bird Boxes

With the credit crunch still hitting hard, the make do and mend mind-set seems to have made a come-back.

If you want to the pennies but still look after the planet, then recycling different materials may be the best way to give a helping hand to the creatures in your garden.

BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth and Julie Mayer found out home to make a garden home for our feathered friends...

Sue Elliott has come up with a new idea:  a waste saving, wildlife friendly device - that raises money for charity as well.

Sue started making bird-boxes from old organ pipes sold in aid of a new organ for St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray.

The wooden pipes would have ended up in a landfill site before she got hold of them and made them in to different sized boxes for different sized birds.

The group in the garden

Listen: Springwatch - Bee Conservation

BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth and Julie Mayer visited the garden of Lynn and Clive Hannon to look into the world of urban wildlife.

Wildlife expert Gavin Fletcher, Senior Conservation Officer at Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire, came along to offer some handy hints for nature lovers.

Gavin explained to Tony why bees are in decline and what we can do to help sustain them...

The little buzzing beasts have been having a hard time recently. They're struggling to find places to live and to get their nectar from.

A garden like the Hannon's is great for bees as it has plenty of nooks and untidy natural area that the bees can hibernate in and make their home.

Gavin pointed out that not many bees live socially in a large hive, lots of them are solitary.

For these bees you can buy special homes from garden centres, or simply make your own by collecting and binding together hollowed out small branches.

Although many people are scared of bees, they rarely sting and do a lot more good than harm.

And despite their bad press wasps also serve a very useful purpose in the garden, including sharing the task of clearing aphids from vegetables with hoverflies and ladybirds:

"Everything has it's balance and everything has its reason. If you're starting to eliminate things from your garden then you're maybe putting something out of food or a job."

A hedgehog home

Listen: Springwatch - Make a Hedgehog Home

Julie and Tony set about making a home to protect hedgehogs under the supervision of Gavin...

To make the hedgehog home...

  • Take a large cardboard box with thick sides and cut two air vents in opposite sides of about 15cm x 5cm. These will also provide an entrance and exit.
  • Shred newspaper and place it at the bottom of the box.
  • Fill the rest of the box with straw.
  • Cover the top of the box with plastic sheeting (a carrier bag will do!) to protect the cardboard in the rain.
  • Lay lots of twigs over the box to make a dome shape, and then cover with dried leaves and grass.
  • Place at the bottom of your garden!

Gavin said that if people have untidy areas at the bottom of their gardens then hedgehogs will probably find their own home, but this is another way of providing them with shelter:

"Every little helps with wildlife, so it's a good thing to do."

last updated: 11/06/2009 at 14:54
created: 04/06/2009

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