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Fears for our wildlife: How you can help

A gardener checks the purple flower of a Helleborus orientalis Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

London’s nature is in trouble.

A groundbreaking reports published by 25wildlife organisation has found 60% of UK species have declined over recentdecades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are underthreat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

In London the biggest threat is theresult of a loss of wild habitat and meadows. Less green space has led to afall in the number of invertebrates which are the foundation for the whole foodchain.

*Mathew Frith, Acting Chief Executive of LondonWildlife Trust said: ”It’s never been more important that Londoners worktogether to look after our city’s amazing nature. We want to engage Londonerswith the incredible nature on their doorstep and raise awareness of iconicLondon species, such as the kestrel and the stag beetle. I hope this reportspurs people on to get involved and help protect London’s nature.” *

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Here’s what we can all do to help;

If you have a garden:

1) It sounds obvious but more greenery and lessconcrete or decking is a big help to wildlife.

2) The more wild the greenery the better. Ifpossible opt for a hedge over a plain fence (a great habitat for bugs andbirds). An un-mown meadow is better for nature than a manicured lawn, but ifyou like neat grass try and leave sections wild to encourage bugs andbutterflies.

3) A log pile is a great haven forinvertebrates like beetles.

4) Try and avoid pesticides and weed killers.** ***99% of insects in yourgarden are beneficial, but trying to kill that small 1% of harmful bugs can doa lot of damage to the good creatures as well (including birds, butterflies andfish). If you must rid your garden of certain pests, try using a naturalpesticide. Have aphids? Get some ladybugs. Ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 aphidsin one lifetime. Or, look around for some organic pesticides; there are a lotof them on the market.*


If you have a balcony or patio:

1) Pots of plants, herbs and flowers will not just look greatbut support pollinators and insects

2) Try and connect whatever plants you have to create a ‘greengrid’ of habitat.

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If you have neither:

1) Get out and enjoy nature in one of London’s 1500 wildlifesites. Getting your family to interact with nature will be the best safeguardfor its future.

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