The 13th August marked National Allotment Week so Durham Wildlife trust is sharing tips on how to create a wildlife friendly plot.
Provide a variety of habitats
- Create habitats for all sorts of wildlife, hedgehog homes, bug hotels, bee-boxes! The greater the variety of habitats you provide on your allotment, the more wildlife you will attract, so try to provide both structural variety and different features at different times of year.
Say no to chemicals and pesticides
- Pesticides can be harmful to a whole host or organisms such as fish, birds, insects and plans. You can still have a productive patch without using harmful chemicals and pesticides which damage the environment. You can encourage pests away from your allotment by providing them with suitable habitats and food. Create a pile of logs or dead wood in a corner which will shelter animals such as frogs, toads, hedgehogs and slow-worms. Try to use environmentally-friendly products where possible.
Leave the mess
- As tempting as it may be to tidy up and get rid of those piles of leaves, leaving them gives valuable shelter to amphibians, insects, spiders and small mammals.
- Water is a very important part of any wildlife friendly area. Ponds are home to a range of creatures but by providing a small amount of water in a dog bowl it can help many birds and small mammals when they are struggling to find something to drink.
Leave the weeds
- Carefully look at the plants that you would normally pull up thinking they are weeds. Many of them are beautiful wildlflowers and are a very important source of food for butterflies and other insects.