Support and nurture the wildlife in our gardens

RobinI am not sure you can enjoy an outdoor life without enjoying the environment particularly animal life.
That’s what is great about being a gardener – and the amount of wildlife you come across…. be it a fox or a worm.

I love seeing the latter because I know they are doing a great job to improve the soil in a garden.

Foxes are just fascinating animals because they are so majestic but having come across three this week alone during daylight hours they may look good but do little for a garden apart from distribute rubbish. Though on Wednesday I came across two in garden who were clearly in love from the noise they were making!

My favourite garden bird is the Robin. You aren’t a proper gardener if a Robin doesn’t turn up. Robin’s love gardeners especially when you are digging because they are hoping for the odd worm or two.

Frogs and toads are also quite common along with the odd rat! However you can’t beat bees and given the amount of garden waste that passes through my car I’ve become quite fond of spiders!

I’ve always liked animals mainly I suppose dogs which I have had from a child.

I was recently reminded of my time as a cub reporter on a local paper in Sidmouth in Devon, covering the fantastic East Devon town of Ottery St Mary, when I read an article  about how a beaver – not seen for 500 years – had been spotted living on the River Otter.

It brought back a particular memory when accompanied by a photographer we walked the River Otter as part of the paper’s campaign with the then National River Authority to restore it to health.

We soon came across a Moorhen which had a fisherman’s hook in its mouth. It’s a common problem but for the unfortunate bird, who digest these discarded lines and hooks it can be a death sentence. Fortunately for this Moorhen who we named Milly we were on hand to rescue her. I scooped her in to my handbag and set off for the vet.

A few days later and after briefly escaping from the vet Milly minus the hook was ready to return to the wild.

Andrea & Polly

Andrea and Polly

A few years later I came across another animal that needed my help. This time it was a kitten looking cold and frightened having been abandoned in a garden I regularly maintain. At that time I had never been a great lover of cats having always been a dog lover but I immediately fell in love with the white and tabby kitten and took her home where she quickly put my two large Labradors in place.

I took her to the vet, but she wasn’t microchipped and having contacted Battersea and put up ‘found posters’ no one came forward to claim her so Polly as I named her became part of our animal family. She is a fantastic cat and so loving as you can see from this photo.

I’ve diverted slightly but the main point is just how important our wildlife is.