How people in Bath are using their gardens to fight back against the UK's nature crisis

  • Watch Victoria Davies' report

Armed with bird boxes, ponds and bee friendly flowers, villagers in Limpley Stoke and Freshford in Bath have been turning their gardens into wildlife havens.

Residents have pledged to make their gardens more nature friendly in a bid to create an entire village of wildlife corridors.

The initiative, called Nature Chain, aims to help fight back against the country's nature crisis.

It was set up a year ago to try and stop the dramatic decline in our insects and birds.

Nature Chain member Steve Best said: "A few of us got together early last year and thought about the decline in habitat and decline in birds and insects and what we could do to try and improve it. 

"We decided the best thing was to try and make our gardens more wildlife friendly as a whole village.

Residents have seen a variety of wildlife attracted to ponds.

"The main point was to do something, to do anything. Whether it is nest boxes, bird feeders, leaving bits of the garden to go wild, maybe not mowing your garden so early in the year or mowing it less.

"Things like ponds are a winner as you get lots of wildlife very quickly with ponds."

More bees and butterflies have been seen in people's gardens since Nature Chain was launched.

Over the past year lawns in the village have been left to grow long, wildflower seeds have been sown and ponds have been put in.

Now villagers say wildlife has slowly but surely started to thrive with sightings of frogs, newts, badgers as well as more pollinators.

Resident Sam Fairley said: "The bees are coming here, the butterflies are coming here, the birds are nesting in the hedges and it is so lovely to see.

"We've got ponds in buckets and things like that so you don't need a lot of space to achieve a lot."

Badgers have been spotted in the village. Credit: Nature Chain

Wildlife experts say if you combine all our gardens, it is an area larger than our national parks, so conversationists say a small change to your garden can make a big impact.

Villager Jenny Craig said: "Everyone wants wildlife in their gardens and if lots of gardens do a little thing then that's a big area for wildlife to make their own."

The community has built a bug hotel in the park.

Even the park has had a wildlife makeover, where next to swings and slides there is a community made bug hotel. And by leaving the grass to grow, nature has revealed hidden treasures, including wild orchids.

Nature Chain member Chimene Roberts said: "At the bottom of the park we have allowed the grass to grow and it is absolutely full of wild flowers. We did a count last summer and there were at least 40 different wild flowers in there."