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Wildlife Gardening - Mammals and Birds

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by gkd_uk, May 17, 2007.

  1. gkd_uk

    gkd_uk Guest



    Bats are protected by law in the UK, and are very rare in an urban garden.

    The easiest way to attract them is to grow night scented flowers, and follow all the suggestions on how to build a wildlife garden, as this will attract the insects that they eat.

    Building a rockery as a double-sided wall filled with straw will offer bats a place to roost, shelter the invertebrates that they eat and become home to many different mosses and lichens. It should be on a south-facing site, as bats need the sun's warmth during the day.

    Bat boxes can be used, but there is no standard size or style. Different sizes are needed, depending on which species of bat are local to the area. A winter hibernation box will be different from a box used for roosting in the summer.

    Do not be tempted to check to see if bats are roosting. As the law stands now, it is an offence to deliberately damage, destroy, or obstruct any bat roost, or intentionally disturb, kill, injure, or take any bat. A special license is needed to handle bats, although it is allowed to catch and release a bat found in the living areas only of a house, or to tend an injured bat with intent to release it.


    To check to see if a hedgehog is in a garden, leave out a saucer of tinned pet food, making sure that domestic animals aren't eating it. If hedgehogs are found, stop feeding them. They are one of the few species that can tolerate the mucus secretions of slugs, and they should not be encouraged to eat anything else.

    Encouraging hedgehogs to live in a garden is simply a matter of providing them with suitable places for them to hide during the day and to hibernate during the winter. In larger gardens, piles of leaves in hollows under trees or in banks is sufficient. And in any size garden they will make their homes underneath outbuildings if the space is dry and there is enough room. Hedgehog houses are easily built out of wooden boxes covered in polythene for waterproofing, with a big enough access hole or tunnel, filled with bedding material, and buried under leaves or logs.


    Badgers are extremely unlikely to be found in a town garden, either living or visiting. They need access, and the average town garden is fenced off on all four sides. It is inadvisable to try to encourage them, as they are often killed crossing main roads.

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