Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your neighbour’s garden? Are you worried that you’ll be caught having a gawp? Well now you don’t have to. Recent RSPB polls have revealed what’s going on in people’s gardens all over the UK – from what wildlife they’d like to see more of in their outdoor space to what is the most likely item to be passed over the garden fence.
It was revealed that almost two-thirds (65%) of people in the UK would like to see more butterflies in their garden, making them the most commonly desired garden species. Garden birds, such as robins, starlings and house sparrows, swiftly followed with 62% of people wanting to see more of them, with the top three rounded off by hedgehogs (53%)
Commenting on the results, Richard Fox, Butterfly Conservation’s Head of Recording, said: “Butterflies bring bright colours and graceful movement to our gardens and epitomise the long, warm days of summer. They also provide an important signal about the state of other pollinating insects; a garden full of butterflies will support a myriad of other beneficial and fascinating creatures too.”
As to be expected relaxation proved to be the most popular main function for many gardens in the UK, with 44% of people with an outdoor space using them to kick back and relax. However, almost 1 in 10 (9%) see the main function of their garden or outdoor space is to help support wildlife .
Richard Bashford, RSPB Giving Nature a Home Project Manager, said: “Gardens and outdoor spaces are a place that people love to socialise, spend time with the kids and just generally relax after a long day. But the great thing about gardens is that they are multi-functional – we can socialise and relax in them but they’re also a perfect place for people to help support wildlife. And having a garden brimming full of wildlife makes them even lovelier places to enjoy.”
You don’t need green fingers to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. The RSPB’s free Giving Nature a Home guide is full of useful hints, tips and activities for the whole family - there’s something for everyone and every size of garden.
Richard added: “The polls showed three-quarters of the UK population with a garden or outdoor space feel that it is important to encourage wildlife into gardens . The RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign encourages people to get out in their garden and do something for nature; no matter how big or small, it will make a huge difference and help nature find a home.”
It was also revealed that the UK is a nation of people who enjoy a gossip with their neighbour. In the answer to the question ‘which, if any, of the following items are you or your neighbour most likely to pass over the garden fence’ 21% of people surveyed answered ‘gossip’, another 6% answered ‘flower bulbs/seeds’ and ‘ladder’, and 5% said ‘hedge clippers’ and ‘wildlife/gardening advice’ .
The polls were carried out to get an insight into how people helped UK wildlife in their garden or outdoor space, and if they felt it was important to encourage other people where they lived to do the same.
Through the RSPB’s campaign Giving Nature a Home you can help tackle the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside space – whether it is by pollen-rich plants to attract bees and butterflies, putting up a nest box for a house sparrow, or creating a pond that will support a number of different species.
To find out more about the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign and how you can help, visit: www.rspb.org.uk/homes