Take advantage of time spent at home by “pledging a patch to butterflies” in your garden or balcony.
Gardens and balcony boxes can provide important places, homes and food sources for butterflies, according to The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS who have set up the Wild About Gardens initiative to celebrate wildlife gardening and to encourage people to use their gardens to take action to help support nature.
Butterflies, moths and their caterpillars are important in the food chain, being prey to many species of birds and bats. Garden birds take caterpillars to feed to their young in the spring and summer. It can take up to 10,000 caterpillars to rear a brood of blue tits!
Butterflies are good environmental indicators. This means that if butterfly populations are going up or down, we get a good sense of how well the rest of the environment is doing. However, the number of butterflies and moths have been in decline in recent years.
All is not lost however, as anyone with a garden, balcony or window sill can help butterflies and moths through gardening. Gardens and outdoor spaces can provide important places, homes and food sources for these creatures.
As part of its 2020 Wild About Gardens campaign, The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS have issued specific guidance on how to support butterflies and moths. The Wild About Gardens campaign has been inspired by the upcoming movie adaptation of The Secret Garden.
Wild About Gardens say: “Gardening is an essential part of The Secret Garden story and we’re encouraging everybody to garden with butterflies in mind! In the story, the garden eases grief, heals rifts and brings the joy out in all who experience it. Make a special place for wildlife – your very own Secret Garden where you can replenish your soul, reconnect with nature and help wildlife to thrive.”
For anyone who is interested in planting for butterflies and moths, you can download the Wild About Gardens guide here.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com