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BUGS contradicts view on wildlife.

Widespread beliefs about wildlife gardening are wrong, a lecturer has concluded.  At the 'Nature Enhanced' conference at the University of Sheffield, honorary senior lecturer Ken Thompson of the department of animal and plant science spoke about the importance of wildlife gardening in urban areas.
His presentation was based on the findings of the 'Biodiversity in Urban Gardens in Sheffield' (BUGS) project carried out over the past four years.
He said, "The belief that large gardens are better for wildlife than small ones, and that suburban gardens are better for wildlife than city centre gardens are misconceptions. We have found almost no evidence to prove that native plants are better for wildlife."
Thompson's findings include:
That floristically rich gardens are good for wildlife, as are large trees and shrubs - avoid double flowering varieties.
The wildlife found in every garden is different.

Biodiversity Threatened

A disturbing new report reveals that 71% of British butterfly species, 56% of British bird species and 28% of the UK's plant species have declined in numbers over the past 20 years, according to researchers at the Natural Environment Research Council Centre in Dorset.
In the past 20 years the large blue and large tortoiseshell butterflies have become extinct (3.4% of the total number of species) and six native plant species.
The decline of butterflies is nationwide, not just environmentally degraded areas and is an indication of just how British insects as a whole are in decline.

For information on how to attract butterflies to you garden click here. 

Decline of the British Sparrow linked to growth in tidy urban style gardens. March 2004

The unabated popularity in make-over 'Ground Force' style gardens could be one of the main reasons for the dramatic decline in the British sparrow. Studies have shown that affluent areas where gardens are frequently turned into the 'Garden Room' struggle to support a thriving sparrow population.   Tidy gardens designed for humans and not as nature intended deprive wildlife of essential food sources. Rob Robinson of the British Trust for Ornithology said, "People are becoming more interested in their gardens and tend to do more creative things with them, resulting in poor foraging habitats. There is absolutely nothing for sparrows to eat so garden makeover programmes on TV have something to answer for." The dire plight of the sparrow population was highlighted recently at a conference in London, with an estimated population of 22.5 million in 1976 falling to about 13 million today. Sparrows need two types of food sources at critical times of their life cycle. Young chicks feed on insects and older birds need a plentiful supply of seeds to survive the winter.

Click on here for information on making a bird garden and attracting birds.

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