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Making Sheffield better for wildlife

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When I watched the Cities episode of Planet Earth II I was impressed by the efforts of Singapore to green up the city and provide more habitats for wildlife. Then I thought about Sheffield and Amey cutting trees down and felt quite depressed. But on the basis that it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness, I started to think about what ordinary people can do to improve things.

 

We have planted two trees this winter - one in our garden and one 'guerilla planted' on Council land. This is somewhere where I know the Council don't mow so I think it's pretty safe. I guess there are many such places in Sheffield and as the Council's budget has shrunk it seems there are more places that are just left alone now. The one I planted was a damson tree which is partly for my benefit but will also benefit wildlife. It wasn't that cheap but it would be good to hear other peoples' suggestions for cheap saplings that can be planted. Some grow naturally of course, and it's easy to grow an oak sapling from an acorn but you would need somewhere pretty spacious to plant it and it would need to be away from the mowers.

 

So, what are your suggestions, both in terms of other things that we can do, and ideas for what can be planted and where?

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Eucalyptus is fast-growing and loved by birds as it's an evergreen. If you have the space, go for it in your garden. Use hedges instead of fences.

 

Provide food, water and nesting spaces for birds in your garden. A mini pond can make a world of difference (just a half barrel).

 

Hate to say it, but one of the best things people could do for wildlife is keep their cats indoors (and make sure they're neutered). Cats kill soooo many things...birds, frogs, slow worms, mice, etc.

 

Also, slow down on the roads, especially at night. Hedgehogs really haven't evolved to cope with traffic :(

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Eucalyptus is fast-growing and loved by birds as it's an evergreen. If you have the space, go for it in your garden. Use hedges instead of fences.

 

Provide food, water and nesting spaces for birds in your garden. A mini pond can make a world of difference (just a half barrel).

 

Hate to say it, but one of the best things people could do for wildlife is keep their cats indoors (and make sure they're neutered). Cats kill soooo many things...birds, frogs, slow worms, mice, etc.

 

Also, slow down on the roads, especially at night. Hedgehogs really haven't evolved to cope with traffic :(

 

I can't believe many environment groups are keen on an alien species like eucalyptus in every garden. What's wrong with a beech hedge or privet?

 

I agree with the rest though and also add, keep your grass natural.

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I can't believe many environment groups are keen on an alien species like eucalyptus in every garden. What's wrong with a beech hedge or privet?

 

Sorry if my post led to confusion - I didn't mean eucalyptus for hedges; beech and privet are great for those. As a tree, if you have space, eucalyptus is very forgiving of our climate and provides vital coverage when other trees are bare. I have seen some tits going in and out of the nesting box in my tree over the last few weeks.

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We've planted lilac, Victoria Plum and a pineapple broom tree this year. We've also left the apples on the ground and have been pleasantly surprised to find the blackbirds eating them as they soften. Garden looks a bit scruffy but we try to garden for wildlife so we don't mind!

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When I watched the Cities episode of Planet Earth II I was impressed by the efforts of Singapore to green up the city and provide more habitats for wildlife. Then I thought about Sheffield and Amey cutting trees down and felt quite depressed. But on the basis that it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness, I started to think about what ordinary people can do to improve things.

 

We have planted two trees this winter - one in our garden and one 'guerilla planted' on Council land. This is somewhere where I know the Council don't mow so I think it's pretty safe. I guess there are many such places in Sheffield and as the Council's budget has shrunk it seems there are more places that are just left alone now. The one I planted was a damson tree which is partly for my benefit but will also benefit wildlife. It wasn't that cheap but it would be good to hear other peoples' suggestions for cheap saplings that can be planted. Some grow naturally of course, and it's easy to grow an oak sapling from an acorn but you would need somewhere pretty spacious to plant it and it would need to be away from the mowers.

 

So, what are your suggestions, both in terms of other things that we can do, and ideas for what can be planted and where?

 

I thought what they had done in Singapore was magnificent. Those huge towers with all sorts of fauna growing in them etc - amazing.

 

I would live sheffield to do something like that and really make the most of the "greenest city" tag.

 

Great thread and will have a think!

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Some people would look at my back garden as a weed-strewn mess, but it is full of wildlife most of the time. I've got amphibians, foxes, hedgehogs and last year I think I had the entire estate's ration of bees and hoverflies.

 

I provide habitat instead of binning prunings etc and sow wildflower seeds annually as well as feed the birds.

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I thought what they had done in Singapore was magnificent. Those huge towers with all sorts of fauna growing in them etc - amazing.

 

I would live sheffield to do something like that and really make the most of the "greenest city" tag.

 

Great thread and will have a think!

 

 

 

There's someone near me trying similar on their house; there's a small tree and lots of grass growing in the gutters :hihi:

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Some people would look at my back garden as a weed-strewn mess, but it is full of wildlife most of the time. I've got amphibians, foxes, hedgehogs and last year I think I had the entire estate's ration of bees and hoverflies.

 

I provide habitat instead of binning prunings etc and sow wildflower seeds annually as well as feed the birds.

 

How do you get on with the wild flower seeds? I've never had any luck getting them to grow before, if you have any tips that would be great.

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Eucalyptus is fast-growing and loved by birds as it's an evergreen. If you have the space, go for it in your garden. Use hedges instead of fences.

 

Provide food, water and nesting spaces for birds in your garden. A mini pond can make a world of difference (just a half barrel).

 

Hate to say it, but one of the best things people could do for wildlife is keep their cats indoors (and make sure they're neutered). Cats kill soooo many things...birds, frogs, slow worms, mice, etc.

 

Also, slow down on the roads, especially at night. Hedgehogs really haven't evolved to cope with traffic :(

 

cats keep the rodents at bay too ! so no don't keep indoors.

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How do you get on with the wild flower seeds? I've never had any luck getting them to grow before, if you have any tips that would be great.

 

Most wildflowers don't like rich soil. They can't compete with grasses either.

 

Buy bare root mixed native hedging in bulk so they cost less than £1 each. It took ours four years to grow into a nice solid four / five foot hedge. They are better pruned hard while establishing to keep them bushy.

http://www.hopesgrovenurseries.co.uk/

 

We also plant more natural plants, they ones that are not over frilly or fancy. These are easier for insects to get into. We don't have a lot of flowers compared to greenery but the ones we do are beneficial to wildlife.

 

http://www.lincstrust.org.uk/wildlife-gardening?gclid=CPCDlurXsNECFRONGwodknkCbQ

 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/encourage-wildlife-to-your-garden/plants-for-pollinators

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