I still have a few books from my early teens. One of which is’Making a Wildlife Garden’ by Chris Baines. He had a BBC series and I wanted my parents garden to attract all the things he had. My parents indulged me and still have a pond as a result. It is bigger than the one I planned and has moved a few times. Frogs, newts and dragonflies still grace their summers and in one very dry spell a Yellowhammer came to drink.
What I really wanted was to get a fox in the garden, but living in Norfolk they were a bit more wary than the town foxes of Bristol and Birmingham. That had to wait until the garden I have now. When we first moved in I planted a hedge of native species. The neighbours frowned as apparently your front garden is open to public criticism in a way your choice of wall colouring is not. Anyway 23 years later it is a perfect source of entertainment in which surprisingly six species of warbler have fed. Some trees have grown unrestricted out of it and the height pulls in more birds and insects and occasionally in summer we see bats.
This though is an island from the twelve neighbouring gardens they do not have any native trees or even any fruit trees from that matter. Their lawns are immaculate and poisonous to non-grass species combined with their pay and display bedding for summer their is not a place for nature, to quote a catch phrase.
I find it surprising as given a choice they have chosen flat sterile environments and miss out on the movement and colour nature brings. Other people with less options still want that attachment to wild things. Stuck in traffic in Gateshead last week I watched gulls flying to a fourth floor window in the picture. The window opens enough for bread to be placed on the sill. This attracted two species of gulls who circled around and fed. I imagine the excitement that contact brought to the resident of the flat -a kindred spirit.