It’s World Wildlife Day today. Though your garden may not be home to many endangered species, there’s still a lot you can do to support the conservation of your local ecosystem.
What is World Wildlife Day?
This year, World Wildlife Day is taking place on Thursday 3rd March. Started by the United Nations in 2013, World Wildlife Day acts as both a celebration and an ongoing initiative to drive ecosystem restoration efforts worldwide.
How can you get involved?
There are many ways that members of the public can pitch in for World Wildlife Day this year. To start, you can read up on more information on the day itself on the Wildlife Day website. Here, you can find more information on the goals of the day, as well as official events you can take part in. This includes a global livestream on Thursday 3rd March. You can also add your own event, or take part in some of the existing events across the UK over the following fortnight. And if none of these are accessible to you, there is always plenty you can do from home.
Britain’s endangered species
The UK is actually home to our own share of endangered plants and animals. This includes insect species like the Cicada, Cosnard’s net-winged Beetle, and Wart-biter cricket. Plants like the Ghost Orchid, and Wood calamint and Crested cow-wheat. As well as animals like the Turtle Dove, Natterjack toad, and the humble hedgehog. Of these, you’re most likely to find a hedgehog in your garden. So, what can you do to protect and nurture this quilled critter?
Hedgehogs can actually play a vital role in maintaining your lawn garden. They can help manage the ecosystem by eating beetles, caterpillars and other lawn pests. Like humans, hedgehogs need the bare essentials of food, water, and shelter. Providing these simple things for hedgehogs in your garden is key to their survival. But, you need to be sure you’re feeding them the right things, as some foods can do hedgehogs more harm than good. They may seem harmless, but simple food and drink like milk and bread aren’t the best for them. Milk can cause diarrhoea in hedgehogs, and bread doesn’t actually provide them with much nutritional value. We also recommend steering clear of bird food like mealworms. Though mealworms contain great proteins and amino acids, they have poor levels of calcium. To hedgehogs, mealworms are the equivalent of sweets and chocolate. They should be consumed in moderation, as part of a balanced diet – but they can also be addictive. So, it’s best to avoid feeding hedgehogs mealworms altogether. In their post about hedgehog food, Ark Wildlife advises avoiding the following:
- Raw Meat
- Citrus Fruit
- Sunflower hearts
The RSPCA also recommends feeding hedgehogs store-bought animal food (if you have it). This could be tinned cat or dog food or crushed biscuits that have soaked in water. Or, you can buy hedgehog food from wildlife food suppliers. To drink, leave out some water, and be sure to change it regularly for your thirsty friends to drink from. Habitat wise, you can make space for hedgehogs out of logs or compost. You want to be careful about leaving things on the lawn for any amount of time, as this can be detrimental to the growth of the grass plant. So, you could create some space in your hedges or around a wall or fence. Or, you could buy a purpose-built hedgehog home for your garden guest to stay in.
To take care of your local ecosystem today, get in touch with TruGreen – the professional lawn care experts. Find your nearest TruGreen business to learn more, and book your free 14-point lawn analysis now.
Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer