This blog is a celebration of the nature in the South East and highlights ways you can get involved and explore nature in the region. If you've got news of the South East’s nature that you'd like to share, please contact the RSPB South East office on 01273 775333 or email SERComms@rspb.org.uk
After much consideration and analysis of your sightings of wildlife visiting your homes, we have come up with a single action we can all undertake that will have the biggest impact for biodiversity.
Before I reveal that, let’s take time out to celebrate the fact that more than 54,000 people took part in the survey across the south east. A huge thank you because there’s no way we could ever gather this quantity and quality of information without you. In the south east, we contributed almost a third of all the data submitted nationally!
Bearing that in mind, consider what impact we'd collectively have if every one who took part did this one thing for nature… built a water feature!
It needn’t be big. The average washing-up bowl can contain more than seven litres of water. So with this conservative estimate, we could between us create a water feature containing more than 378 thousand litres of water. That is the equivalent of almost all the water consumed by an average household of four people for about two years and a potentially life-saving resource for frogs, toads and many other garden visitors.
Making a mini-water feature is one of the many Wild Challenges featured on our website.
Ponds are wildlife magnets, attracting all sorts of creatures to live in, on or around them; and even more that visit for a drink, a snack or a wash.
A washing-up bowl on a balcony, or in any outdoor area you have access to, is a great way to support wildlife. Some people may have more space and bigger ambitions, Give it a go!
Here's a before and after shot of a slightly larger garden pond using a waterproof membrane from a garden centre instead of a washing-up bowl.
For those with big ambitions and plenty of space, RSPB Wildlife gardening expert Adrian Thomas, pictured with his wheelbarrow below, detailed in his blog how he built his pond.
If you have a pond already and want some fun while supporting wildlife, browse our Wild Challenge pages for ideas:
But what of the results of the survey?
In the South East of England, after birds... grey squirrels and foxes are by far the most commonly recorded species seen in gardens. Frogs come in third place while toads and hedgehogs compete for fourth place, the spiny mammals are more common than toads in Berkshire, Hampshire, Kent and West Sussex. The Isle of Wight has a completely different line-up, with foxes being most common, followed by red squirrels, slow worms, badgers and then frogs. More details of the national survey can be found here.