University of Leicester initiative to raise awareness about how gardeners can help hedgehogs, bats and other wildlife

Posted by ap507 at Oct 19, 2016 02:54 PM |
Event is part of Wild about Gardens Week – a joint initiative between the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and the University of Leicester - taking place between 24—30 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 October 2016

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and the University of Leicester Botanic Garden are encouraging gardeners across the two counties to help hedgehogs this autumn, as part of the national Wild About Gardens Week (24—30 October).

The week is a joint initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Wildlife Trusts to encourage people to support local biodiversity in their gardens.

This year a special event is being hosted by University of Leicester Botanic Garden on Saturday 22 October which is an initiative designed to raise awareness among gardeners about how they can help wildlife, and bats in particular.

This is more important than ever. More than half of the thousands of UK animal and plant species have declined in the past 50 years for a range of reasons including loss of habitat. Many of our common garden species, like hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs for example, are becoming much less common. This is where gardeners can make a difference, by making their own gardens and the green spaces in their communities more wildlife friendly.

“Whatever size your garden is you can help wildlife. There are around 15 million gardens in the UK which could be a huge ‘nature reserve’ for wildlife if we all make a bit of space for nature,” said Rachel Ibbotson, Education Officer for Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

What can you do?

  • Attend the Wild About Gardens - Hedgehogs event on Saturday 22 October, 10.30am – 4pm at the University of Leicester Botanic Garden, Oadby. For more information go to www.lrwt.org.uk
  • Create habitats for wildlife in your garden see www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk for lots of advice and ideas.
  • Follow #wildaboutgardens on Twitter throughout the week for regular tips on how you can make a difference this autumn
  • Over the past 50 years we've seen declines in more than half of our plant and animal species. But together we can help to halt this loss.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITOR

The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT) works to protect and enhance Leicestershire and Rutland’s wildlife and wild places. The Trust is the largest non-governmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of wildlife in the two counties. It is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK forming the Wildlife Trust partnership, the UK’s leading conservation charity. The Trust has more than 15,500 members, manages 34 nature reserves covering more than 1,214 hectares, and provides advice to other landowners on conservation issues. Helping people to enjoy and have access to wildlife is increasingly part of the Trust’s work.

For further information see www.lrwt.org.uk

The University of Leicester Botanic Garden focuses on the importance of global biodiversity and grows a wide range of plants from around the world in its 16 acres of gardens and greenhouses.  It is the most diverse garden in the region, in terms of plants, conservation collections, landscape features, and historically and architecturally important buildings. Its roles are to underpin scientific research and teaching at the University; and to provide education programmes aimed at all age groups, reaching out into the wider community to demonstrate the contemporary significance of plants in a rapidly changing world.

For more informaton see www.le.ac.uk/botanicgarden

Wild About Gardens Week

The Wild Trusts in partnership with the RHS run Wild About Gardens Week (WAGW) an annual celebration of wildlife gardening, providing a focus to encourage people to use their gardens and take actions to help support wildlife.

Over the past 50 years we've seen declines in two thirds of the UK’s plant and animal species, for a range of reasons including loss of habitat. Many of our common garden species - hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are endangered species. Gardens have enormous potential to act as mini-nature reserves. There are 15 million gardens in the UK, estimated to cover about 270,000 hectares – more than the area of all the National Nature Reserves in the UK.

The species focus for this year’s week will be bats and the actions people can take to make their gardens bat-friendly.

LRWT are running a bat-themed event on the 22nd October 2015 10.30am – 4pm with children’s activities, adult talks and wildlife group stalls. Come and meet a bat, play ‘batty’ games, follow a quiz trail and find out how to make your garden more wildlife friendly.

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