The urban gardens of the UK are active with a great range of wildlife as these creatures try to eke out survival in our every changing world. With foxes, hedgehogs, wild birds as well as many insects the garden is important to them all. The garden can be full of valuable nutrients and food and the home occupants can help, not necessarily a good thing, where waste food is left for these animals to scavenge.
Some animals are welcome such as the hedgehog and the massive array of birds where some, such as foxes, are not quite as welcome. People in general have a divided opinion about foxes, where some people love them, some despise and fear them with many just accepting them. They are nice in a way with their bright colours certainly in the drab winter months.
You will find that the garden shed is a help to these creatures as this building can provide shelter for them and help to keep the wind away. On the rare warmer days the heat radiating from the garden shed is a welcome break from the cold and they can enjoy this. The shed also helps them to hide away from any predators during the day.
Whilst not everyone welcomes these creatures you will find many are good for the garden. Hedgehogs are great at controlling slugs and ladybirds feed on aphids. Worms are great at borrowing through the earth and help to improve the soil and where would we be without bees pollinating our fruit, flowers and vegetables.
If you would like to encourage wildlife into your garden, which many people do, you will find that a 'prim and proper' garden is not the best option. An untidy garden is good for them, a bit like a teenager's bedroom, as this will make them more at home. Be careful when you treat the garden shed and try to keep the treatment off the surrounding garden. If you have a pond this is also good for wildlife but you must be aware of the dangers where young children are present, who must always come first.
However, as much as you may love foxes, you do need to stop them building dens under your garden shed. This is helping to increase the fox population, which is not really sustainable, and can lead to foxes getting braver, by necessity, and entering our homes. This is according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who state that the domestic garden is seeing larger number of foxes appearing.
To prevent foxes digging under your garden shed you need to look out for any holes which may be appearing and fill them in or block them up. However, always ensure that the foxes are not using the hole beforehand. If they are then you need to wait about after the cubs have been born.
The RSPB conducted a survey name Make Your Nature Count and this asked people to spend a hour in their garden and to see what birds or wild life were visible. Results of an earlier survey in 2008 showed that a quarter of all the gardens in the UK are home to foxes, which is a staggering amount. They very rarely pose a risk to humans as attacks are rare, but the biggest problem is their noise.
An animal welfare consultant, Jim Barrington, said that foxes, in general, are welcome in our gardens. They rarely cause any damage but do often get blamed for digging up lawns which they don't normally do. If you want to discourage foxes then you should cut back any trees in your garden as well as shrubs. If you have any shady corners then remove them and, most importantly, fill in any gaps around garden sheds or any garden buildings. These simple actions will tell the foxes they are not welcome.
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