RSPB urges gardeners to cut back on cutting back to give nature a hand

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 15 Jul 2015 09:51, Last updated: 2015-07-15
Gardeners urged to keep the hedge trimmer in the shed
Gardeners urged to keep the hedge trimmer in the shed

The RSPB is encouraging people to Give Nature a Home this summer by allowing their gardens to grow.

In spring, the charity received a number of reports from concerned people about plants on public and private land being cut back.

With the forecast predicting sunny spells, it’s not unusual to hear or see people enthusiastically trimming back garden foliage, often using speedy electric tools that give vulnerable wildlife no chance of escape.

Instead of rushing to cut back bushes, shrubs and trees which often causes harm to active bird’s nests and wildlife such as hedgehogs and slowworms, the RSPB is urging people to put down the secateurs and let their gardens grow - not only saving time and effort, but protecting nature whilst doing so.

The RSPB’s Ben Andrew said: “Birds in and around our gardens, parks, towns and cities, including favourites like robins and blackbirds, are still incubating eggs, feeding chicks in the nest or have vulnerable just-fledged chicks that can’t yet fly properly. With some birds nesting from March through to the end of August, it’s important that garden clearance is delayed until September at the earliest.”

Ben explained: “Some of this may be unavoidable, especially for safety reasons [Note 2], but in many cases a little planning and sparing a thought for wildlife could reduce disturbance. We’d like everyone to simply ask themselves ‘do we really have to cut it back right now?”

As well as cutting back on cutting back, there are many simple things that individuals can do to help give nature a home in their gardens. Keeping a shallow bowl topped up with fresh water will attract birds and provide them with a constant source of fresh drinking and bathing water during the long, warm days. With the summer holidays approaching, making a ‘bug-hotel’ is a fun project for all the family to get involved in. You can expect lots of insects to pay a visit, including leaf-cutter bees over summer and hibernating ladybirds during winter.

The warmer months present the perfect opportunity for individuals to enjoy a picnic in the park or walk on their local green, and these activities can be made even more enjoyable by the sights and sounds of wildlife around them.

Creating a wildlife haven by using plants that provide food, shelter and nesting sites for different species will provide them with much needed resources throughout the summer and into the autumn.

The charity hopes to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature.

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