Lifestyle | Create your own wildlife paradise

Turn your outdoor space in a wildlife haven with the new Nature on your Doorstop project

South West housebuilders Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes and the RSPB have launched Nature on Your Doorstep, designed to help you turn your outdoor spaces into havens for yourselves and wildlife – whether it be a garden, balcony, yard or community green space.

The project was launched during Mental Health Awareness Week – the theme of which is ‘nature’ – in response to a recent YouGov poll which found that two thirds of people in the UK said nature was a source of solace during the pandemic. A recent study from Princeton University, USA, also found that gardening is one of the top five activities for increasing emotional wellbeing.

In 2020 alone, over 1.7 million people sought advice from the RSPB website on how to make their garden more wildlife-friendly

 

This project comes after a year in lockdown caused many to rediscover and rejoice in their local nature. In 2020 alone, over 1.7 million people sought advice from the RSPB website on how to make their garden more wildlife-friendly, and in January the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch saw a record-breaking one million people take part in counting the birds in their garden.

Visitors to Nature on Your Doorstep can now access:

  • how-to gardening guides
  • easy step-by-step videos
  • seasonal gardening advice
  • and an online community dedicated to bringing people together to ask questions, seek advice, and share their successes (and learning experiences).

 

Over the next three years the project will grow into a go-to place for gardening for wildlife. The project will host everything from customisable content to seasonal advice across the four nations, as well as investigating how to empower local communities to make shared spaces a home for wildlife.

Adrian Thomas visits Chris’s urban wildlife garden in Brighton which is planted largely in pots, East Sussex, July

Adrian Thomas, the RSPB’s wildlife gardening expert, said: “Our local wildlife has been an incredible source of comfort over the past year of isolation and uncertainty, and we’re so thrilled to see people wanting to help nature in return. With Nature on Your Doorstep, we want to provide a place for everyone to learn from each other, ask questions, and be inspired to do more.

“Gardens can provide a crucial lifeline for struggling species… seven out of eight households in Britain has a garden, and that is a huge patchwork of potential homes for nature.”

Buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris, adult feeding on cornflower, Scotland, July

David Thomas, Barratt Developments’ chief executive, said: “We want to empower people to give nature a home, by creating an online community for them to learn and to share their experiences, giving them digital tools which they can then take into the garden to get their hands dirty. This is all about helping home owners to turn their garden into havens for wildlife.”

To turn your patch into paradise for you and your wildlife, please go to: rspb.org.uk/yourdoorstep

Cathy Parnham

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