Mayor encourages everyone to get involved in ‘Wild About Gardens’ workshop

Alison Diver, Growing Communities Officer, (centre) pupil Marc Cummings and Rachelle MacQuarrie, a geography teacher at Carrickfergus College, pictured with hedgehog hotel and bat box.
Alison Diver, Growing Communities Officer, (centre) pupil Marc Cummings and Rachelle MacQuarrie, a geography teacher at Carrickfergus College, pictured with hedgehog hotel and bat box.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is backing ‘Wild About Gardens Week’ this autumn and urging everyone to play their part in helping to protect hedgehogs.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe, said: “Research has found that 60% of UK animal and plant species have declined in the past 50 years for a range of reasons including loss of habitat.

“Sightings of hedgehogs, common frogs and stag beetles are much lower than even a few years ago.”

At the ‘Wild About Gardens’ workshop on Wednesday 28 October from 12 noon to 3pm at the Carrickfergus Mill Ponds, there will be a wide range of experts on site including RSPB, Ulster Wildlife, The Conservation Volunteers and the Northern Ireland Bat Group to provide demonstrations, advice and inspiration. There will be a range of fun, practical activities including bird box building and Hedgehog Street sign making.

The annual celebration of garden wildlife, a joint initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society and The Wildlife Trusts, includes Hedgehog Street this year to highlight what can be done to help the hedgehog.

Everyone can have a go at planting a native hedge, creating gaps in fences for them to pass through, leaving leaf or log piles and allowing parts of the garden to grow wild to give hedgehogs a home.

They like thick dense undergrowth and a variety of lengths of grass which is a great excuse for a ‘wild’ area in your garden.

Alternatively anyone can easily build a ‘hedgehog hotel’. A simple wooden box design with entrance holes and a watertight lid makes the perfect home for them.

For further information on the Wild About Gardens Workshop on Wednesday 28 October please contact Alison Diver, telephone 028 9335 8231.