As we start thinking about putting up the Christmas tree, ordering the turkey and stocking up on cheese, crackers and wine, we must spare a thought for wildlife. Hedgehogs, bees and birds don’t have the luxury of battening down the hatches and nipping to the green grocer for more Brussel sprouts when they’ve run out. This week, we’ve invited James Haldane from Dorset Wildlife Trust, to guest blog and remind us of what we can do in our gardens to provide welcoming and safe habitats this winter.


Last year’s The State of Nature report presented us with a problem. UK wildlife is struggling in a big way, with over half of our species in decline and even some that we face losing forever. Hedgehogs are in decline. Bees are in decline. Song thrushes are in decline. And so on, and so on. At first glance, this all seems to be rather overwhelming. Is there anything that we can do to help?

It is part of my job to realise that things really can change when lots of people all do the same thing – however small. With over 15 million gardens UK-wide, covering a larger area than all national nature reserves combined, it seems clear to me that there’s a possible solution. Maybe we can all do something extra for wildlife with whatever outside space is available to us.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is running a wildlife gardening campaign called Make Wildlife Welcome to encourage, what I’m starting to call, some domestic conservation across the county. We’re equipping our supporters with a fun and effective starter pack, including the fantastic The Wildlife Gardener book and easy-to-use, bee-friendly seedballs. In return, we’re asking for a monthly donation of £3 or more, which entitles each new supporter to full membership of Dorset Wildlife Trust. Funds raised are going towards our own conservation work, looking after some of Dorset’s most important habitats and wildlife-friendly places.

150 supporters have pledged their support so far, and we’d love you to join them. Visit our webpages to find out more about the campaign and to pledge your support.

James Haldane, Membership Manager at Dorset Wildlife Trust.