Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Attracting the invertebrates.

The main purpose in creating our wildlife garden is to live in harmony with the biodiversity - all the various insects, birds and small mammals - which come to visit, as well as with those which have taken up residence here. To that end, we have been creating little habitats to attract them over the past sixteen years.

Since all these creatures’ lives are interdependent, each being part of the web of life, when we came here we had to find ways of attracting invertebrates and insects, so that they, in turn, would feed the birds. We knew once they had taken up residence, the larger birds of prey and the mammals would follow.

Dotted here and there around the garden are log piles, tree stumps, old branches, piles of stones, bundles of twigs and patches of rotting leaves. Initially the logs were bought from a nearby saw-mill, but we also make a habit of collecting branches from trees, which are blown down in gales, from a friend’s wood.

Insects such as woodlice, beetles, slugs, snails, centipedes, millipedes, earwigs, and spiders all enjoy dark, damp places for their homes. The spaces under the large boulders around the ponds and in the cracks between the mortar in the outhouse are also ideal conditions for attracting invertebrates. Over the years we have enjoyed watching the birds foraging in all these areas rooting out succulent grubs, crunchy bugs, and slimy slugs to feed their hungry broods.

No comments: