There are 15 million gardens in the UK covering around 270,000 hectares – that’s more than all of the National Nature Reserves. Gardens provide an extremely important habitat for bugs and other wildlife. The way that you look after your garden – are you a budding environmentalist or an indiscriminate bug-killer? – can clearly make a difference to how wildlife-rich it is. The best gardens can be mini-nature reserves, packed with colourful and extraordinary bugs – what better way to get close to nature?
Insect conservation charity Buglife has produced a guide to gardening for bugs, including how to make a mini-meadow, a bug hotel and a bee hotel, and how to attract bumblebees to your garden.
Britain’s largest beetle, the stag beetle is an impressive creature. The male has huge jaws which resemble a stag’s antlers and give the beetle its name. Despite its fearsome appearance, stag beetles are completely harmless. They are declining across Europe, and London is one of the few places where stag beetles are still common. To find out more about stag beetles, see the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species website. You can help stage beetles in your garden by creating Stepping Stones for Stags.
One of the most valuable ways for you to help conserve our wildlife is to take part in a Buglife survey. With the help of volunteers up and down the country, these surveys help us discover how some of our rarest and most spectacular bugs are doing. To find out more click here.