PEOPLE living in Carmarthen or Llanelli are being asked to look out for a leaflet coming through their doors asking for help to find out about wildlife living in their gardens.
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council have teamed together to find out about wildlife living in urban gardens. The ‘Carmarthenshire Urban Garden Wildlife Survey’, aims to discover all about the hidden wildlife in the county’s two largest towns.
Biodiversity Officer Isabel Macho said that gardens provide a refuge for a huge variety of wildlife. In towns, a large proportion of available wildlife habitat is provided by gardens, which are the ‘green lungs’ of urban areas. Gardens and allotments can also be important wildlife corridors in a built up area. Over recent years gardens have become increasingly important habitats for wildlife, including for many species now rare in the wider countryside.
Some species found in gardens can help with various things - hedgehogs are natural slug control, ladybirds prey on aphids, worms improve our soil and bees and flies help pollinate our fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Some gardening practices however may be harmful for wildlife. Overuse of pesticides and fertilisers, over-tidying of gardens, drainage of ponds and use of peat can all have a harmful effect. However, taking simple action means that people can garden in a wildlife-friendly way.
Avoiding chemical fertilisers, using peat alternatives, providing food, shelter and water for birds and planting some native species in borders are all ways in which people can help wildlife in their gardens.
Ms Macho said: “Increasingly we are realising how important gardens in towns are, even the smallest gardens can host a range of wildlife. All the gardens together within a town can be a significant habitat resource for Nature. Every garden is different so can help a variety of birds, mammals and insects.”
Lizzie Wilberforce, Conservation Management at the Wildlife Trust, added: “Why not give wildlife in Carmarthenshire a helping hand by pledging to do something positive for wildlife in your garden. Simple, easy to do things really can have a big benefit for wildlife. And if we all did just one simple thing, we'd be making a big difference together.”