Show Gardens Offer Homes For Nature

A partnership between Redrow and the RSPB is helping to ‘Give Nature a Home’ in Bedfordshire.

The award-winning housebuilder has worked closely with the bird and wildlife charity to produce a long-term strategy to improve the site of its new Caddington Woods development near Chaul End for nature.
 
Along with new homes the development will include wildflower meadows, tree planting, ponds, and pocket wetlands.  New footpaths will meander through new wildlife friendly grassland around the edges of the development, next to the existing woodland.
 
Tonia Tyler, sales director for Redrow Homes (South Midlands), said: “At Caddington Woods we’re not just building new homes, we’re also creating an attractive neighbourhood where people really want to live. Working with the RSPB to enhance the environment in and around our homes will not only provide a green and leafy backdrop for the properties, but provide space for birds, bumblebees, butterflies, hedgehogs and wildflowers to flourish.”
 
Landscape gardeners from the TCL Group have created four interlinked show gardens to demonstrate how homeowners can provide homes for nature in their own gardens.
 
Carl Maddocks, from TCL, explained: “Each individual garden is designed to appeal to different species with lots of flowering trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, grass, and even dead and decaying wood features which play an important role.”
 
There’s also a small bird bath, where birds, insects and other wildlife can drink and bathe, plus a bug hotel, offering shelter for a variety of species including solitary bees, bumblebees, ladybirds and woodlice; while holes in the fences create hedgehog ‘highways’ and there’s also a hedgehog ‘hotel’
 
Redrow is working with the RSPB to provide homes for nature at Caddington Woods.

Wildflower turf has been laid and provides additional support to wildlife including bees and butterflies.
 
RSPB urban land management adviser John Day added: “Caddington Woods is surrounded by woodland and an important part of its management is the retention of dead and decaying wood. While it’s often removed because it looks ‘untidy’, it has a role to play in providing a home for mosses, lichens and fungi, along with a host of invertebrates and can increase the kinds of wildlife that visit a garden. Hopefully those who visit the development will be inspired to include some of the features in their own gardens to help wildlife thrive in the area.”
 

The show home gardens at Caddington Woods are designed to be wildlife friendly.
 
When it comes to homes for humans, Caddington Woods has plenty to offer, featuring three, four and five-bedroom designs from the sought-after Heritage Collection. Current prices start from £371,995.
 
The show homes, including the gardens, are open for viewing daily from 10am to 5.30pm. For more information see www.redrow.co.uk/caddington or call 01582 788 194.
 

Five point plan for insects in your garden

 

Plant flowering trees and shrubs in borders

Plant a variety of native and non-native trees and shrubs. Avoid invasive non-native species.
Aim to have something flowering through every month of the year. But avoid double-bloomed hybrids which have little or no nectar.

Grow herbaceous perennial, biennial and annual plants in borders.

Plants have different shaped flowers and flower heads, preventing insects competing with each other for pollen and nectar. Growing different kinds of plants helps more pollinators reach the nectar they need.

A packet of ‘cornfield annuals’ with plants such as poppy, corn flower and corn cockle can easily be sown in a bare border in spring or autumn. It’s a great cost effective stop gap to add colour to a new garden

Visiting a nursery on a sunny day at different times of the year helps you select ‘in season’ flowers. Look for plants with insects around the flowers as these are more likely to be good for nectar and pollen

Grow a flower rich lawn

Larger gardens may have room for an area of flower rich lawn. Flower rich turf is available to purchase or you could create your own by removing an area of turf, raking the surface of the soil, sowing the seed and using the back of the rake to firm the seed into contact with the soil.

If you’re not keen on long grass, there are seed mixes and turfs with flower species that don’t mind regular mowing – providing you don’t cut it too short all the time. 

Provide logs and woody cuttings

Discrete piles of logs and woody cuttings left at the back of shrub beds are great for all kinds of wildlife including different invertebrates.

You can also use larger logs to create a focal feature point by laying them horizontally or vertically among flowering border plants.

Provide water

Ponds are the most wildlife rich home you could create in a garden as they are quickly colonised.

Smaller alternatives include a raised water feature in an old sink or very large plant tub.

Even a small bird bath can provide water where insects and other wildlife may come to drink or bathe.
 
For more tips and ideas, visit www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife.
 

Luke Kelly explores the show gardens at Caddington Woods. 
 

Publish date: 06/06/2017