What can YOU do to help garden wildlife?

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LATER this month, gardeners and community groups will unite in an effort to halt the decline of UK species – but more needs to be arranged in the North East.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) are calling on the public to get involved in Wild About Gardens Week (October 25-31).

But so far, there’s only two events in our region – in Newcastle and Whitley Bay.

In May, the State of Nature report, compiled by 25 wildlife organisations, found that 60 per cent of the 3,148 UK animal and plant species assessed have declined in the past 50 years.

For example, hedgehog numbers have reduced by a third since 2000 and tortoiseshell butterflies, once common in gardens, have declined by 77 per cent.

A microsite (www.rhs.org.uk/wildaboutgardensweek) has been set up for groups to log events.

Gardens offer a wealth of habitats for wildlife. For example, a pond is one of the most effective ways to attract wildlife, and wildflowers provide essential food for insects such as butterflies and bees.

Throughout Wild About Gardens Week, there will be wildflower seed giveaways by TWT and people will be asked to “Do One Thing” – creating a pond, or simply putting out some bird seed.

TWT and RHS will be offering free advice and resources via the website www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk and via the RHS Advisory Service.