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    29 March 2022

    How to help local wildlife

    How to help local wildlife

    Slugs can be a nuisance to our vegetable patches and gardens. But they are an important feature in our ecosystem! Slugs are a delicious dinner for some of our much-loved wildlife, including; garden birds such as robins, thrushes and blue tits, frogs, slowworms and hedgehogs! 
    Whilst it can be tempting to use pesticides to swiftly remove slugs from your garden, poisons can be passed from the slug itself to the predator consuming it. This has been a particular issue for the hedgehog. Once a staple in our garden, our beloved hedgehog is in crisis. According to the Somerset Wildlife Trust, Britain’s hedgehog population has declined by 43% in the last 13 years. Slugs are an important part of a hedgehogs diet, by removing slugs from your garden, you could be unintentionally removing hedgehogs too. For more detail on hedgehog population decline, and for advice on creating a hedgehog friendly garden, check out the British Hedgehog Society website: https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/new-state-of-britains-hedgehog-report-issued-today/ 
    There are several suggestions for wildlife-friendly slug repellent for your garden, however, each has varying successes. It is advised you try more than one method for the highest chance of success. Physical protective barriers can be made using plastic bottles to cage your growing plants. Be sure to check on them regularly to ensure no slugs have been trapped inside. You could also try scattering a range of substances around your vegetables slugs are known to dislike. These include wool, coffee grounds, human hair, wood ash and crushed eggshell. These substances dry out the slug's slime or irritate them so they do not wish to cross. 
    Alternatively, you could try planting sacrificial veg that slugs cannot resist. The aim of this method is to draw the slugs away from your veg with a plant that they cannot resist, such as lettuce or brassica. Monitor your sacrificial plant regularly. 
    One of the best things you can do is understand your garden and its relationship with slugs. Slugs are most active during the evening and on rainy days when it is cooler and the sun is less intense. If your vegetables are in a cooler, damper part of your garden, you are more likely to get slugs. For more information or more tips, the RSPB have more alternatives to chemical pesticides here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/gardening-for-wildlife/animal-deterrents/organic-pest-control/non-toxic-slug-control/ 
    Ultimately, whilst slugs may not be the best of friends for our veg, they are very important to our garden wildlife! If you can’t see yourself finding peace with your garden slugs, using organic, natural slug repellents that keep them away from your veggie patch is important to ensure your garden remains a safe space for wildlife.
     

    Sustainability News Sustainable Sunday

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