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Wild Bunch column – New Year’s Resolutions

The Wild Bunch had a fantastic year with some very successful and impactful events such as the biggest Somerset Bat Count to date, a very well attended hedgehog awareness talk and many bird box building events which resulted in over a hundred bird boxes being distributed around the town.

In 2024 our mission is to increase the number of wildlife friendly gardens, balconies and window balconies in Frome continues with a new series of our regular gatherings.

Our first gathering on the 18th of January will kick us off into taking new positive actions for nature. We will look into findings of the first ever Somerset State of Nature report, published by Somerset Wildlife Trust in September 2023. The report makes for sobering reading but what is highlighted very clearly in the many case studies presented in the report, is that there is a real hope for nature restoration when we put our efforts into improving landscapes for wildlife – including our gardens.

Bryony Slaymaker, who works at Somerset Wildlife Trust, re-managed her garden to make it a haven for wildlife. This has given a small insight into the richness that’s possible with relatively small interventions. “In October 2022 my garden was a leylandii shaded square of lawn, occupied only by rabbits despite proximity to the wider countryside. Since then, we have replaced the leylandii with native hedge which provides continuity with the neighbouring farmland, installed a pond and bog area, replaced the rye lawn with meadow mix which has taken well, planted pollinator-friendly species in the beds which have been humming with bumblebees and the new kitchen garden is no-dig organic and heaving with worms. In less than a year we’ve gone from recording almost nothing to 51 moth species, three species of toad, a frog and newt species, 10 species of butterfly including comma, peacock, gate keeper and holly blue, seven species of dragonflies and damselflies including brown hawker, ruddy darter, black tailed skimmer and southern hawker. Lots of birds, blackbirds, a robin, wood pigeon and wren all nested in or bordering the garden plus the usual garden species such as sparrows and tits.”

Anyone can take actions for wildlife, so why not get involved with the Wild Bunch? Throughout the rest of the year at our gatherings we will cover new topics such as hosting wild honeybees. We will also focus on the importance of healthy soils and will learn about ways we can store carbon in our garden. Follow Frome Wild Bunch on Facebook for further meeting dates.

If you would like to get involved with the Wild Bunch or subscribe to our newsletter email fromewildbunch@gmail.com

2 January 2024
Last Updated
13 December 2023
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