Yesterday I headed to the NEC in Birmingham to volunteer with the fantastic Bat Conservation Trust. I was one of the volunteers manning the stall for Gardeners World Live which was a massive and very colourful event:
But it wasn’t all about the pretty flowers. Over on the Bat Conservation stand
we were talking about Gardening for bats. How even the smallest outside space can provide much needed feeding and roosting habitat by adding bat friendly plants (night scented to attract the insects bats feed on, pale colours and a variety of flower shapes), a bat box and water to attract insects. Lots of the people we spoke to said they had already seen bats feeding over their gardens (they are excellent at hoovering up insects, with Pipistrelles eating up to 2000 midges per night) and a good sign that the local ecosystem is healthy. We also got lots of inquiries from people keen to make their garden more bat friendly or to generally find out a bit more about what bats they were likely to see in their local area. A great tip for starting to attract any wildlife into your plot is to stop using pesticides as you’ll find the insects these remove form the basis of many food chains. Stopping using chemicals will allow these insects to thrive & you should see much more wildlife as a result (which will act as a natural pest control service, it just takes a little time to get established). Organic gardening, tis the way forward I tell you! Anyway back to gardeners world, we were lucky enough to be situated opposite one of the theatres where the lovely Carol Klein was passing on her wisdom.
By the end of the day we were tired but happy.
Gardeners World Live was a great chance to talk to lots of lovely gardeners and to spread the word about not only how amazing bats are but how even in the most suburban areas you can attract and enjoy these incredible creatures. And so after a spot of shopping (very restrained considering all the beautiful plants)
I headed home for a well deserved cup of tea.
Massive thank you to the Bat Conservation Team for letting me help out and making my day so much fun!