Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
On the weekend of 30 – 31 January it will be your chance to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. David Hall was one of half a million people who took part last year, recording a vital snapshot of nature in the UK.
Begun in 1979, and promoted by the RSPB, the survey results show which species may be at risk and need attention. Last year's data indicated that the numbers of starlings and song thrushes in steep decline. They are now on the 'red list', the highest conservation priority requiring urgent action.
Participation in the survey is free. All that's required is for you to take an hour noting down what species of bird there are in your garden and how many. If you don't have a garden, the local park or any green space can be an alternative location.
To get started, register your interest on the RSPB website and request a free information pack. You then choose one hour over the weekend to record the birds you see before submitting the results.
More than eight million birds were spotted in 2015 and this information is added the RSPB data bank. Over thirty years of figures can then be analyzed to determine trends and help our understanding of what is happening to our bird life and how we can help.
Take for example the decline in greenfinches that was highlighted last year. This was likely due to trichomonosis, and now the RSPB urge people to clean their feeders, bird baths and tables regularly to halt the spread of this disease.
For the last couple of years, non-bird activity has also been recorded with hedgehogs, squirrels, foxes included in the survey. Nature relies on all these inter-dependent animals and birds, together with insects, plants etc to be successful and create a healthy environment.
This winter has been mild but there is always the chance of a cold snap when birds and other wildlife need our help, so visit Wildlife Care on GardenSite and do your bit by installing nest boxes for hedgehogs who have declined by 50% over recent years, bug and insect hotels, as well as feeders and bird baths.
Read our blog if you are particularly interested in hedgehogs.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our newly re-opened Garden Centre in Birmingham. Plant the bedding out in borders and containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020 but during the current government restrictions don't be surprised to see repeats filling gaps in a depleted schedule and other programmes adopting a different format..
GardenSIte is proud to announce a donation of £25,000 to NHS Charities, the result of a pledge made to our customers that we would donate £1 for every £50 they spend.