We're wild about conservation!

Supporters of the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary may have noticed recent media coverage regarding a joint initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts. Aptly named Wild About Gardens, the project aims to encourage members of the public to support wildlife in domestic gardens by thoughtful planting and the provision of appropriate habitat.

According to the project leaders the U.K. has around “…15 million gardens…put together they cover 667,000 acres - an area seven times the size of the Isle of Wight.”

Don’t burn old twigs and leaves on the bonfire - a huge variety of
bugs and insects will take up residence if left undisturbed.

Plenty of space, then, to enable gardeners everywhere to set aside a little patch of wild terrain providing protection and food for the huge variety of birds, bees, insects and butterflies native to the U.K. Numbers of wild visitors can be increased to even the smallest balcony or border by planting nectar rich plants, by leaving old plants to rot down over the winter, by providing bundles of twigs and dead leaves for cover and by creating cosy holes and crevices in pieces of wood and under plant pots for bees and other over wintering creatures.

Plant wildflowers with single blooms offering easy access for nectar loving bees.

Here at the Sanctuary, within the pretty Woodland Walk every effort is made to establish food sources and habitat for a whole diversity of woodland visitors. A bug hotel offers luxury accommodation for beetles, lacewings, spiders, woodlice, earwigs etc., whilst ladybirds can enjoy the cover offered by “high rise” logs bored with holes hanging from the trees. Frogs, toads, newts and other marsh loving visitors can take refuge around the peripheries of the wild life pond - an ideal spot for laying frogspawn and for worms, centipedes and bugs that amphibians love to eat.

Frogs, newts and toads enjoy shaded, marshy areas at the edges
of ponds offering cover from predators and an excellent supply of food.

Boxes are also situated within the woodland for wood mice as well as many varieties of garden bird and dead tree limbs and leaves are stacked into piles rather than burnt on a bonfire, creating hedgehog teepees and reptile refuges!

All of these small scale conservation ideas can be replicated in the garden, on the farm or at the allotment…..and if they are implemented throughout the 667,000 acres at our disposal, will make a major impact on the bee, bug, butterfly and bird populations countrywide.

Leave wild areas on the edge of the garden
with sheltered cavities for hedgehogs and mice.

We hope that visitors will leave the sanctuary having not only enjoyed our wonderful birds and animals and pretty surroundings, but also having felt inspired to create habitat and increase food sources in support of all wildlife on their own patch at home.