Top tips for helping wildlife to thrive

Hedgehog snuffles in the autumn leaves. Photo by Matt Cole.
Hedgehog snuffles in the autumn leaves. Photo by Matt Cole.

Landowners and farmers play a huge role in protecting

wildlife and biodiversity.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust work with many landowners on projects as diverse as river catchment management and wildflower meadow restoration through to badger vaccination and nature friendly farming projects.

Here are some simple things you can do to improve biodiversity on your land:

l Reduce the amount of fertilisers and pesticides you use. These can be detrimental to wildlife, especially slug pellets which cause fatalities to hedgehogs as they eat the slugs. If you must use pesticides try to do so on a still day to make sure that the spray doesn’t drift into the field margins.

l Leave hedgerows in place; they are important wildlife corridors, and provide food and shelter for many species. Avoid flailing if possible, and if you must cut hedges, do it on a rotational basis to leave some oasis for nature rather than cutting all of them at the same time.

The best way to look after a hedge is to lay it. This will provide an impenetrable barrier to livestock and reward you with a thick, healthy hedge which can last for 25 years if well maintained.

Reinstate previously removed hedgerows if you can with native hedgerow species of local origin. Similar advice applies to dry stone walls; they are also beneficial for wildlife, and can last for 50 years.

l Create wet areas including ponds and ditches. These will encourage many species including birds and pollinators to visit. Try to reduce run-off of fertilisers into watercourses.

For more information or advice, call Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188.