What wildlife will I see on an allotment?

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What wildlife will I see on an allotment?

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The key to getting wildlife to work with you is to encourage the beneficial creatures that already live on your allotment and encourage more and different ones to live there. The easiest way of conserving wildlife is to reduce your use of toxic chemicals, ideally cutting them out altogether. Encourage more of the right kind of creature to live on your allotment by creating suitable habitats. Suitable habitats include: hedges; ponds and bog areas; nest boxes for birds; roosts for bats; beetle banks; overgrown, undisturbed areas, log and stone piles and a wildlife / herb patch.


Step One

Empty, overgrown plots can make an allotment look unkempt unkempt and uncared for, but a solution is to ‘manage’ these sites as wildlife areas. Untended plots may be taken over by bramble which is an excellent food source and refuge for many kinds of wildlife. Apart from attracting insects such as hoverflies, bees and lacewings, a tangle of brambles is a favourite nesting site for birds like robins, wrens, song thrushes and blackbirds. Some warblers and finch species may also use bramble in this way. To control bramble, cut different sections back on a three- or four-year rotation so there is always a gradation between first-year growth and mature stems; this means you can keep a plot relatively tidy but still retain much of the wildlife benefit.


Step Two

Many birds are excellent predators and will eat all manner of pests. The best way to encourage beneficial birds onto your plot is to put up bird boxes and make sure there is plenty of water available.


Step Three

Bats are superb insect predators. Build a bat box made from untreated timber.


Step Four

Build a pond to encourage frogs, toads and newts to your allotment


Step Five

Create a bug hotel to encourage beneficial insects to overwinter on your plot by providing them with a place to hibernate. An old log bored with holes will be an invaluable refuge for many useful insects.


Step Six

Log or stone piles will create a multitude of habitats for beneficial animals. Even a small stone pile will be a useful habitat for beetles and centipedes. Larger piles may shelter slug-eating frogs and toads.


Step Seven

Keep some plant litter (leaves and old vegetation) to provide winter hibernation sites for insect predators such as ladybirds, lacewings and spiders.


Step Eight

The addition of flowers to your allotment will attract pollinating insects such as bees.


Step Nine

Planting native hedging plants and trees such as hazel, elder, blackthorn, hawthorn, dog rose, field maple, beech, yew and the like will create nesting places for birds,shelter beneficial insects and provide berries for food.


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