Batty about building boxes!
Sustainable Living in the Heatons partnered with Heatons’ Men in Sheds in February half term 2020 to put on a day for children to build boxes for birds and bats. Over 25 children joined in and each took away a box to put up in their own garden. We had a lot of fun, and made a mess!
John Rowland, Countryside officer for Stockport Council, came with ideas for how we can encourage wildlife to live in our urban gardens. Some of the tips John gave us were:
- Build a pond, however small, to encourage frogs, toads and newts, as well as aquatic insects and beetles. Make sure the sides have a slope so frogs and toads can hop out and explore!
- Put together a bug hotel or an insect house with sticks, bamboo and other varied materials.
- Make wood piles for hedgehogs, with small chambers to curl up in. Put holes in fences so the hedgehogs can travel between gardens- adult hedgehogs travel 1-2 kilometres per night searching for food and mates – that’s a big neighbourhood to get around!
- Encourage butterflies and bees by planting and sowing plants and flowers that attract these insects through the whole summer.
- Put up boxes in trees for birds and bats to use – make sure they aren’t in the sun
We listened to the sounds made by different sorts of bats – weird and fascinating noises. Here is a good link if you want to listen to them.
What happened next?
We were lucky to win a Stockport Hydro Environmental Challenge Award to have some of the boxes put up professionally, high in local trees. And in March 2020 we have heard that one of the boxes that a family put up themselves in their garden was already being used by some blue-tits!
Can you make your garden in the Heatons a good place to attract and nurture wildlife?
Yes, and there is lots of good information from trusted resources to help you on your way. Here are some links which we found to help you on your way: