Planting natives will help attract wildlife
We'll be at the Home and Garden Show this weekend with a display showing how you can transform your garden from ordinary into an extraordinary ecological habitat that you and your family will love to spend time in.
"It's really easy for people to make changes to their gardens to encourage greater biodiversity and create a habitat that will attract native wildlife," says Myfanwy Emeny, the Council's Biodiversity Coordinator. "It can be as simple as planting a range of native species and keeping your cat indoors at night," she says.
Wellington has lost 95 percent of its lowland forest since humans settled here. Since that time more than 27,000 species have been introduced. Native birds are struggling for survival, with one-third of bird species now extinct and 75 percent of the remaining species classified as threatened.
You can make your garden into a hospitable habitat for native birds by planting trees that flower throughout the year, and having water in your garden. Birds look for locations where there are piles of leaves to forage for worms and like tree canopies of different heights, which provide cover from predators.
Composting is a great way to practise conservation at home. It reduces the amount of rubbish that goes to methane-producing landfills and provides a fertile breeding ground for invertebrates such as insects, which support the ecosystems around them.
"Many people want to do something to improve our environment, but they're not sure how they can make a difference," says Myfanwy. "We're really looking forward to being able to share with people how they can combine their passion for gardening with conservation."
Look out for the Forest and Bird 'conservation in your back garden' display at the Wellington Home and Garden Show (Westpac Stadium, 18-20 November). Further information about the show is available online at:
Wellington Home and Garden Show website