Sunday, September 24

Encouraging wildlife onto your plot

With many natural wildlife habitats having been destroyed it is more and more important that we do what we can to provide wildlife with alternative homes. Many gardeners are also very enthusiastic about wildlife preservation. The following link will take you to "Wildlife on Allotments". This is a very interesting publication by English Nature containing lots of idea on how you can encourage wildlife onto your plot.

Wildlife on Allotments

This photo was taken after moving a pile of straw, needless to say the straw was put back and that part of the plot left undisturbed until we were sure the hedgehogs had gone. Always move piles of compost, allotment rubbish etc carefully many animals consider piles such as these to be ideal winter hideaways or nesting sites. Never set light to a bonfire that has been left in situ, move the materials to a new site and then burn.

The pile of straw covering dahlias over winter was taken over by nesting bumble bees. They were no problem and had left by the time the dahlias were ready to flower.

What wildlife have you found on your plot?

Other Links
Garden Ponds and Boggy Areas


  1. We seem to have the usual toads, frogs and newts all over the plot. Our compost bin made a great home to a family of voles this summer. We have a hedgehog box under the seat at the back of our plot to provide shelter for hedgehogs over the winter months. Having a hedgehog close to the plot also helps with slug and snail control. We are also planning on digging out a small pond this winter to provide a better home for our amphibious friends.

  2. Having two ponds in our garden at home we quite like the idea of a wildlife pond on the allotment. We have been held back due to the risk of accidents. Fatal accidents can occur even in very shallow water. People heading home across the allotments after too much to drink, or children could be potential victims. This is especially worrying taking into account that our site is particularly insecure. General advice when creating wildlife areas which include ponds within primary school grounds is that the pond be fenced and access gained through a locked gate.

    "The Wildlife on Allotments" publication has a section on ponds and I have added a link to a second publication from English Nature "Garden Ponds and Boggy Areas". Maybe we will consider a boggy area as a safer compromise!

    I am not sure what the position of the council - I am assuming permission would need to be given when considering this type of project.

    Maybe Steve could give us some feedback about the councils position and advice that they might offer.

  3. The Council does not currently have any rules regarding ponds on allotments. Some local authorities do not allow them because of safety concerns.

    Because of the risk of drowning, the Council's rules for school and community ponds are that they should have stepped sides, so that anyone could climb out, and also
    be fenced, and have a warning sign.

    Small ponds and bog gardens probably ought to be a complimentary feature on allotments, to encourage biodiversity. However, I would welcome any comments how this can be achieved safely.


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