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Wildlife and Outdoors

The importance of wildlife gardening

Wildlife gardening involves gardening with the intention of encouraging animals and insects into our gardens. In the UK, around 80% of heathland and 70% of UK ancient woodland has been lost since the 1800s, and around 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s. With natural habitat disappearing drastically, our wildlife is struggling to survive. Habitat loss has contributed greatly to the 133 species have gone extinct in the UK since the 1500s. Today around 25% of UK mammals are at risk of imminent extinction.

It’s really important to make our domesticated environments somewhere UK wildlife can thrive too! Together, our gardens are a vast living landscape and can make a big difference to our natural world. There’s lots of information online about what we can all do from building a pond to going peat free. Find out more from the Royal Horticultural Society or The Wildlife Trusts.


Support charities

  • British Hedgehog Preservation Society: A registered UK charity dedicated to protecting hedgehogs, funding rescue centres and educating about Hedgehog conservation.
  • Royal Society for Protection of Birds: A nature conservation charity, dedicated to the conservation of birds, including species recovery, wildlife projects and rehabilitation of natural environments.
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust: a charity working towards increasing quantity of bumblebees, quality of bumblebee habitat and enhancing understanding of bumblebee ecology and conservation.
  • Bite Back: a UK based shark and marine conservation charity, dedicated to tackling shark slaughter and over fishing
  • Marine Conservation Society: a charity focused upon restoring the health of our oceans, including fighting plastic pollution, beach littering, overfishing
  • Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust: a charity focused upon the preservation of wetlands, which provide important habitats for many endangered species

Wildlife gardening tips

Ditch pesticidesLink opens in a new window: Some pesticides have been banned in the UK, but pesticides that are legal can still damage wildlife. Pesticides tend to spread further than the area used, for instance harming birds and hedgehogs when eating insects that have come into contact with pesticides.

Plant wildlife friendly seedsLink opens in a new window: Planting native flowers helps, as a lot of British wildflowers have been lost to urbanisation and deforestation.

Provide hedgehog houses and bug hotels: By putting Hedgehog housesLink opens in a new window in your garden, you’ll be providing hedgehogs a safe place to hibernate and shelter! Bug hotelsLink opens in a new window encourage bugs into your garden, providing a safe space for them to breed.

Link up your garden: making small holes in your fence helps link up habitats for wildlife.

Put out bird feed: Birds like spots as high up as possible, to be as far away from predators. Make sure to dispose of seeds that get wet, and replace with dry food, and ensure water is clean.

Make use of storage boxes: Make use of any old storage containers. Fill with soil and plant flowers to attract bees, butterflies and otherwise, or grow your own veg!

Species surveys

There are lots of UK wide projects which encourage people to record the wildlife they've seen to contribute towards citizen science projects, which help to assess the state of nature. We undertake as many of these as we can on campus and encourage others to get involved in their gardens and local greenspaces. These projects include:

Useful links and apps

iNaturalistLink opens in a new window - helps you idenitfy the plants and animals around you. By recording and sharing your observations, you'll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature.

Seek by iNaturalistLink opens in a new window - use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals around you.

iRecord ButterfliesLink opens in a new window - an app to guide you through the identification of any butterfly that you see in the UK.

British TreesLink opens in a new window - A Woodland Trust app to identify the UK's native and non-native trees.

Big Hedgehog MapLink opens in a new window - see how many hedgehogs have been sighted in your area, and log your own sightings #HedgehogFriendlyCampus

Solitary and Mason BeesLink opens in a new window - find out how to identify these bees and support them in the garden, plus lots more wildlife blogs.

Nature WebinarsLink opens in a new window - Warwickshire Wildlife Trust have been joined by a number of experts to provide free webinars on topics around ecology and conservation.

UN Sustainable Development GoalsLink opens in a new window - Find out more about the 17 UN SDGs and the targets beneath them.