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Wild About Gardens Challenge--make a splash for wildlife

For this year’s Wild About Gardens challenge, The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are calling on people to put in a pond. From mini container ponds to larger sunken ponds, it’s the garden feature that can make the biggest difference to wildlife.

Photo by Nigel Climpson courtesy Cornwall Wildlife Trust With much of the UK’s native flora and fauna under threat, often down to habitat loss, Wild About Gardens sees the two charities join forces to raise awareness of the importance of gardens in supporting wildlife and offer tips and advice on how to make them more wildlife-friendly.

The UK has lost ponds, rivers and streams at a rapid rate and only a small amount of our natural ponds and wetlands remain, and Cornwall is no exception. Many of these remaining wet habitats are in poor condition and 13% of freshwater and wetland species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain. The loss of these important places to development, drainage and intensive farming is linked to a huge decline in wildlife, including frogs and toads, water voles and insects.

Adding a pond by digging one in your back garden or simply by filling a waterproof container outside your front door is one of the best ways you can help wildlife and enjoy the benefits of seeing water plants, birds and bees close to home. Digging a pond is great for hedgehogs to have somewhere to drink and for frogs, newts and other amphibians to feed and breed. All ponds – large, small, dug or container – are good news for bats, damselflies, dragonflies, other insects.

Photo by Terry Whittaker courtesy Cornwall Wildlife Trust Cheryl Marriott, Head of Conservation at Cornwall Wildlife Trust said, “There is always something going on in a pond if you take the time to stop and look. Even an upturned dustbin lid sunk into your lawn will provide a home for a multitude of wildlife.“

The Wild About Gardens team are providing pond-tastic inspiration to get gardeners started:

•Enjoy our fabulous Big or Small, Ponds for All booklet – a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect pond, large or small. Download the booklet at https://www.dropbox.com/s/u6tsyt8dqxaiq47/BOOKLET%20Ponds%20For%20All.pdf?dl=0

•Every pond counts. We want to know about every new pond. Each pond contributes towards the network of wild places that nature needs to survive. Please put your pond on the map at http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/

•Join in a Thursday pond social. This will run from the 17th April to the 27th of June at 6pm each and every Thursday on social media helping people identify things in their pond and creating conversation.

.Visit twitter.com/WildlifeTrusts or www.facebook.com/groups/WildAboutGardens/ to join in the conversation.

•Download Jules Howard’s pond podcast. Jules will be interviewing ecologists and talking ponds for 8 weeks from April 18th. Download the podcast from www.juleshoward.co.uk

•Download your free pond toolkit and find more inspiration for making your garden a wildlife haven at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk

.Subscribe to the Wild About Gardens e-newsletter at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk
for updates and wonderful wildlife gardening ideas.

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