As we continue with the heatwave and gardeners look to enhance their homes, local landscaper Glenn Bicknell from G.B Fencing and Tree Surgery highlights how gardeners can also make their outdoor spaces thrive for birds and local wildlife.
While we make the most of the sunshine, fledgling birds are using trees and hedges as homes before they are strong enough to ‘leave the nest’ and take flight. In early spring concealed nests can be protected with grown, dense hedges that will also be used as a food source long into the summer.
One major way their habitats can be maintained is through hedge trimming at the right time of year, which most homeowners work on to improve the tidiness and aesthetic of their garden.
Glenn Bicknell advises, ‘Hedge trimming is a fantastic way to improve the look of a garden but it should be timed so that birds can flourish. Our local wildlife will use hedges for shelter, movement and food. Cutting them down can reduce the scope of their natural habitats but improve them in the long run, as hedges can become denser and a ‘safe place’ for animals’.
As a result, in the latter half of the calendar year, the best time to complete this work is from July onwards, once the fledglings have developed and moved on. As a result, I take the most bookings for hedge trimming at this time of year.”
Thriving local species include House Sparrows, Starlings, Wood Pigeons, Blue Tits, Robins and Goldfinches, according to the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). The number of birds seen in Sussex gardens can be affected by migration, the scarcity of food sources and weather conditions.
Between 2016 and 2017 the RSPB recorded that sightings in 12 of the county’s top 20 Big Garden Birdwatch increased, highlighting the importance of wildlife friendly gardens in offering a boost to local bird populations.
At the time RSPB Officer Tim Webb said, ‘Gardens are an increasingly valuable resource for birds. They need food, water and shelter throughout the year and if we all provide these things in our outdoor spaces it will be a huge help to our garden birds, perhaps even playing a role in reversing some declines.’
Glenn Bicknell adds, ‘Gardens are really a treasured resource for both homeowners and wildlife. Keen gardeners are often invested in bird and wildlife spotting and it’s important for our gardens to be given the value and attention they deserve as part of this wider context.’
How to have a wildlife friendly garden
In addition to scheduling seasonal work to maintain habitats for birds, you can also plant wildflowers, add in a rocky area and ‘link your garden’ with 13cm by 13cm holes at ground level for hedgehogs and other animals to move safely.
It is also favourable to have native hedges which replace fences. If this is something you’re considering, autumn is the best time to plant them and then they will provide a good source of food and shelter during the breeding season and beyond.
Get in touch
Owner of G.B Fencing and Tree Surgery, Glenn has decades of experience in garden landscaping, tree surgery, turfing and more, working across Sussex and Surrey.
For more information please call the team on 01403 824 048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.