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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Give nature a home, charity urges

Latest figures show that only 33 per cent of people see hedgehogs in their gardens in North Yorkshire at least once a month, 14 per cent fewer than in 2014

Foxes were the third most popular visitor with 16 per cent of people in North Yorkshire catching one in their garden at least once a month, according to this RSPB study. Stoats are an elusive species with six per cent spotting one on a monthly basis.

Grey squirrels remained the most common garden visitor in the county for the third year running, with 67 per cent of participants spotting one scurrying across their garden at least once a month.The RSPB is calling on people to get involved in Giving Nature a Home this summer by doing at least one thing for wildlife in their garden or outdoor space

Gardens cover an estimated ten million acres in the UK, an area the size of five million football pitches and, according to experts, can play a pivotal role in efforts to reverse the fortunes of struggling UK wildlife

Hedgehog populations are in a long-term decline with the latest figures suggesting that the UK population has dipped to under one million.

RSPB conservation scientist Daniel Hayhow said: “With the right care and attention your garden could become a home to all kinds of different species, and you could have a front row seat to some amazing wildlife shows. The UK is home to some fascinating garden wildlife from bugs to butterflies, hedgehogs to house sparrows – our outdoor spaces provide these species with the vital homes they need to survive."

He added: “By providing shelter and a safe place to make a home, gardens provide an invaluable resource and are a key element in helping to save nature, perhaps even playing a pivotal role in reversing some declines.”

To help people create their own wildlife friendly garden, the RSPB launched a new online tool that will create their own plan for nature. Further information: www.rspb.org.uk/plan

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