Safe haven for wildlife

IMG 6499Mayor Tony Francis and Gardens-for-Wildlife assessor, Mia Cooke inspect a Point Lonsdale garden that provides food and shelter for local wildlife.Residents can now access expert local advice on how to transform their garden into a wildlife-friendly habitat through the Gardens for Wildlife program.

The program assists residents to create a wildlife garden by introducing indigenous plants, trees and other features into the garden to provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Launched in March 2016, Gardens for Wildlife was established in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale by the Swan Bay Environment Association and already has 10 member gardens.

According to Bob Fuller, who assisted in establishing the program, garden size is no restriction.

“No matter how small your garden, whether it be plant containers, a courtyard or larger space, we can all contribute to the survival of wildlife by providing suitable places for birds, insects, frogs, lizards and other animals,” he said.

Interested gardeners are invited to register with Gardens for Wildlife to receive a free site inspection by a local Gardens-for-Wildlife assessor.

The assessor will provide a written report including plant recommendations and suggestions to increase garden biodiversity. This may include a patch of natural mulch to attract beetles and worms, a cat-proof birdbath or a frog-friendly pond.

The program is already reaping rewards for gardeners and wildlife alike.

One of our members implemented recommendations by the Gardens-for-Wildlife assessor and his garden has since been visited by a blue tongue lizard while a pobblebonk frog is now living in their pond,” Bob said.

Visit www.sbea.webuda.com to obtain a registration form.