Wild Advice Scotland provides information on species and habitat identification, alongside advice on increasing biodiversity in gardens and elsewhere.
Species conservation on green roofs
I’m very please to have recently received planning permission for and installed this green roof on a property in Stirling. I have increased it’s biodiversity value by using a 10cm plating substrate and choosing species of regional botanical relevance in particular sticky catchfly of local provenance, an amber listed (near threatened) species that grows in the wild with in 1km of the property. A beautiful pink flower, often associated with volcanic geology, sticky catchfly is threatened by over grazing and scrub encroachment.
It was fascinating to watch this seven spot ladybird hatching. They hatch pale orange without spots and colour up to classic ladybird colours over the next hours/ day. Ladybirds are great pest controllers. Their main food is aphids.
To encourage ladybirds, try to avoid using any insecticides in your garden.
Natural nest boxes
We had to remove the hollow stem of a rowan as it was damaging a listed building. Rather than let this great resource for wildlife go to waste, we sectioned it and used the hollow logs to create nest boxes. The smaller branches will be turned in to mini bat boxes (pip parking places).
Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant that draws much of its energy from the roots of grasses. This weakens the grass, making it easier for flowering plants to compete. I’m using it in this orchard in combination with strimming to control vigorous grasses such as Yorkshire fog. Strimming the grass and removing the cutting, help remove nutrients from the soil, this favours less vigorous grasses that wildflowers can compete with more easily such as sweet vernal grass, sheep’s fescue and crested dog’s-tail.
Yellow rattle is also a great source of nectar for bees.