September Talk

On Wednesday 18th September, over 30 members and friends welcomed Jill Cawthray who spoke on the subject of Wildlife Gardening.

Jill, who has a degree in environmental sciences and has many years experience in conservation and education having worked for the Field Studies Council, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and through teaching geography and the environment in a number of schools and colleges. A lifelong enthusiasm for plants and green issues has led to a formal horticulture qualification with the RHS Advanced Certificate.

Jill Cawthray talking with Members
Jill Cawthray with flowers good for attracting wildlife

With her Husband Andy, who gave a talk to the Society entitled "Chicken in your Garden" in 2016, Jill runs "ChickenStreet", incubating and propagating poultry and plants for folks to buy.

Starting from the point that Gardening for Wildlife is not only enjoyable, but helps to replace lost wild spaces, Jill regaled us with tips among others, to encourage nesting birds, providing insect shelter by not clearing all our leaves, growing longer grass in places to provide food, ensuring there is always water in the garden, maybe installing a pond.

Other tips included walls with crevices (ideally dry stone walls), trellises mounted away from fences and walls, installing bird boxes and Insect hotels as well as planting flowers for butterflies and "going Green", reducing pesticides and using peat free compost.

Members were then challenged to "rate" their garden by assessing key parameters such as types of flowers, number of grasses, availability of water, composts used, number of bird feeders ,and bird boxes and opportunities for insects to breed and flourish.

Top marks for the most "Wildlife Friendly" garden went to Robert, who was attending his first meeting with BRHS, and promised to be at next month's AGM to learn about the Societies activities.

Perhaps you would like to come too - Wednesday October 17th at St Pater's School, Rossett at 7.30pm.

Thanking Jill, the Chairman said we had all been educated, enthralled and entertained by a great talk which gave us all things to think about to improve our gardens and encourage more wildlife.