Do you know what types of wildlife have made a home in your garden? You can probably name a handful without really thinking about it – the first ones that come to my mind are spiders, woodlice, ants and the pesky slugs who eat my lettuces – but you’d probably be amazed at just how many other species there are.
The typical British back garden has an abundance of animal life that is every bit as fascinating as anything you’d find anywhere else on the planet. Vine House Farm have set us a great challenge: they’ve produced an interactive graphic that shows the various species that are present in British gardens, the idea is that we head off into our own garden to see if we can find any of the same species – or indeed others. This is a great family activity, and so easy – we just stepped outside our back door!
Before we began our wildlife hunt, we had a look at the graphic and chatted about the birds, animals and insects that we found. It’s really easy to use; the kids loved the interactive element and there’s just the right amount of information there.
Fired up by what we might find, we headed outside to explore.
You really don’t have to have a huge garden out in the countryside in order to accommodate a wide range of wildlife; our garden is small and urban and we found so much. We spotted blue tits, a magpie, wood pigeons and a tortoiseshell butterfly – we weren’t quick enough to catch any of these on camera, but these visitors stayed still long enough for a photo:
As we explored we chatted about where each creature might like to live and the types of food it might like to eat. Providing a suitable habitat and food source is the key to encouraging garden wildlife and Vine House Farm has a great range, including high quality bird food and feeders, nest boxes and homes and food for other wildlife.
Learning how to garden for wildlife teaches children so many things: caring for other creatures, having compassion, and ‘big ideas’ such as the health of our countryside and the world as a whole. Using your garden to teach them in this way is such an easy family activity, and the Vine House Farm garden wildlife tool is a great resource to accompany your exploration; it really got the kids thinking and helped them to recognise the different species they found. I learned a lot too!
For more information on the range of wildlife and bird foods and accessories take a look at the Vine House Farm website.