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The wonders of a garden hedge. Brett Westwood and Phil Gates's investigation into common garden wildlife continues. From July 2013.

Ever wondered what causes the semi-circular holes in your rose bushes, and what is it that raids the honeysuckle for nectar? Well the answers to these garden mysteries are revealed when Brett Westwood is joined by naturalist Phil Gates in a garden near Bristol and with the help of recordings by wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson and Geoff Sample, they offer a practical and entertaining guide to the wildlife which you're most likely to see and hear in a garden hedge. Hedgerows provide food, shelter and nesting sites for birds, climbing frames for plants and food for insects. Male wrens build multiple nests (often in hedges) and the female then selects one in which to lay her eggs. Wrens are also notable for their song; it's a very loud explosive song for such a small bird "The whole bird seems to vibrate". Brett and Phil then turn their attention from song to scent; and to the honeysuckle which grows in this garden around the porch, but is often entwined in hedges and likely to attract the lovely Twenty-plume Moth - so called because "their wings look like beautiful Chinese fans ... and each wing is divided into what look like little feathers", and although its called the Twenty-plume Moth, it actually has 24 plumes, six on each of the four wings; a really exquisite moth. They also look for signs of leafcutter bees, before finally discussing hedgehogs, the ardent adventures of one particular male in Phil's garden, their extraordinarily noisy courtship, and the importance of hedges as highways and corridors between gardens.

PRODUCER: Sarah Blunt.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Thu 1 Jun 2017 02:15

Phil Gates' Blog

More information and photographs of the species discussed in the series by our contributor Phil Gates , visit Phil's blog.

Gardening for Wildlife

For infomation about gardening for wildlife, here are a couple of websites to help get you started.

Information guide from BBC Nature

Information guide from Natural England



  • Mon 22 Jul 2013 09:30
  • Wed 16 Jul 2014 13:45
  • Wed 31 May 2017 14:15
  • Thu 1 Jun 2017 02:15

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