Get involved in Giving Nature a Home, your chance to save nature in Greater Manchester
The RSPB is calling on people to get involved in Giving Nature a Home this summer by doing at least one thing for wildlife in their garden or outdoor space after new data revealed further declines in sightings of some of our most familiar and favourite garden species.
Results from the wildlife survey showed only 19 per cent of people in Greater Manchester spotted a hedgehog snuffling around their garden at least once a month, 18 per cent fewer than in 2014.
Hedgehog populations are in a long-term decline with the latest figures suggesting that the UK population has dipped to under one million.
UK gardens cover an estimated ten million acres, an area equivalent to the size of five million football pitches. Each green space can make a difference, from a window box full of pollen rich plants for bumblebees to a small pond hosting a whole range of different species.
The RSPB is calling on people to help save nature this summer by getting involved in Giving Nature a Home, and doing at least one action for wildlife in their garden or outdoor space.
Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “With the right care and attention your garden could become a home to all kinds of different species, and you could have a front row seat to some amazing wildlife shows. The UK is home to some fascinating garden wildlife from bugs to butterflies, hedgehogs to house sparrows – our outdoor spaces provide these species with the vital homes they need to survive.
“It’s interesting to see a rise in the number of people recording sightings of some of our struggling garden wildlife – and although this isn’t suggesting population changes – it could mean that people are becoming much more aware of the species that can find a home in their back garden.”
For the first time participants were asked to keep an eye out for foxes and stoats visiting their garden. The results revealed that foxes were the third most popular visitor with 39 per cent of people in Greater Manchester catching one in their garden at least once a month this year. Stoats are an elusive species with less than one per cent spotting one on a monthly basis.
Grey squirrels remained the most common garden visitor in Greater Manchester for the third year running, with 88 per cent of participants spotting one scurrying across their garden at least once a month.
Daniel Hayhow added: “By providing shelter and a safe place to make a home, gardens provide an invaluable resource and are a key element in helping to save nature, perhaps even playing a pivotal role in reversing some declines.”
To help people create their own wildlife friendly garden, the RSPB launched a new online tool this week that will build their own personalised plan for nature. The plan will be unique to the individual and will not only target their favourite species, but the wildlife that is struggling in that particular part of the country.
You can create your own personal plan and give nature a home near you, just click here