This month is No Mow May, when we are asked to leave our lawnmowers in the shed for a month to benefit the wildlife in and around our gardens. As the grass grows, the potential for pollination and shelter for many species increases, giving us lots of exciting wildlife spotting opportunities on our own doorstep! On 21st May, all participants who have signed up on the Plantlife website will be asked to complete a simple survey, counting the flowers in a metre squared patch of their garden. Last year, record number of bee orchids, snake’s-head fritillaries and eyebrights were observed. It will be interesting to see which flowers will benefit the most this year, and how this helps pollinators to thrive.

As well as helping the bees and butterflies, No Mow May will hopefully benefit our troubled hedgehog population. This week (1st-7th May 2022) is Hedgehog Awareness Week, run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. The week aims to highlight the many problems and threats faced by hedgehogs, as well as the ways in which we can help them in our own gardens. As well as keeping an area of long grass, simple measures such as leaving a log pile undisturbed or creating a Hedgehog Highway hole in a fence can have huge benefits. You might even build a special hedgehog house to tuck away in a quiet corner of your garden. 

Offering water and meaty cat or dog food in our gardens can help hedgehogs.

Image: RSPB Images

Back in Flatford Wildlife Garden, the first clutch of blue tit eggs have now hatched, with both parents keeping very busy to feed the hungry chicks. In the second box, the mother is still incubating the eggs, so there should be plenty of action around both boxes for many more days to come. The garden is open from 10:30-4:30 every day, with plenty to see and do. 

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