There are a number of ways in which we can help conserve biodiversity in Carmarthenshire and everyone can take part. Even simple changes can make a difference. For example:
You can help in general by:
l Joining and helping out with a local or national conservation group or wildlife charity.
l Recording wildlife in the Carmarthenshire. Go to the West Wales Biodiversity Information Website: www.wwbic.org.uk/
You can help in the home by:
l Recycling organic waste such as vegetable peelings on a compost heap. This can then be used for garden compost and it creates a habitat for slow worms and hedgehogs. Or try a wormery, which will also provide liquid fertiliser for your plants.
l Sorting out your rubbish and recycling items such as paper, plastic, milk cartons, cans and glass. This will reduce the amount of countryside needed for landfill.
l Making more use of environmentally friendly and recycled products.
l Buying locally produced, organic produce or growing your own. Visit the Soil Association website for useful advice.
l Saving energy. Electricity production uses up non - renewable energy resources which in turn contributes to global warming so turn lights and appliances off when they are not being used. Use solar-powered gadgets.
l Ensure your house is properly insulated so heat is not being wasted.
You can help in the in the garden by:
l Planting locally native plants and shrubs and avoiding planting species that are known to be invasive. Natives are preferred to exotics by bees and butterflies and more wildlife will be encouraged in your garden.
l Planting nectar rich flowers to attract bees and butterflies.
l Stopping the use of slug pellets and pesticides that are killing beneficial insects and affecting the birds which eat them e.g. song thrushes which are becoming increasingly scarce. Instead use environmentally friendly methods. For example use old plastic bottles over young plants, put seaweed around your plants or use beer traps. For more information on organic gardening visit HDRA The Organic Organisation.
l Installing bird and bat boxes and putting up bird feeders, especially in winter when birds may struggle to find food. Remember to keep them away from squirrels and cats.
l Growing plants and shrubs which produce berries or seeds for birds to feed on, such as teasel, sunflower, berberis or cotoneaster.
l Creating a garden pond and designing it with wildlife in mind.
l Buying or making your own compost bin. Visit Home Composting for advice on home composting. Using your own home-made compost rather than peat helps save peat bogs which are a threatened habitat which have been adversely affected by extraction of peat for garden use.
l Providing places in your garden for creatures to inhabit and shelter. Stones, for example, or dead wood and leaves can become home to hedgehogs, fungi and insects. Hibernating toads, frogs and newts like log piles in dark damp corners of your garden.
l Creating a window box to encourage bees and butterflies if you don't have a garden.