Tag Archives: bees

A Wonderful Woodland Walk


On Saturday June 8th; members of Bothwell Community Garden and Brighter Bothwell were joined by villagers and Forestry Commission Ranger Alasdair Taylor for the ‘Wild In The Woods, Wild in the Garden’ walk in the beautiful environs of the Bothwell Woods.

We were absolutely blessed by the weather, and it was wonderful to see so many new faces, both young and young at heart, coming along to find out how to create a vital slice of woodland in their own gardens.

Captivating the children..

Captivating the children..

The walk introduced us to many of the native trees, plants and animals we live alongside; and Alasdair explained how ‘Woodland Edge’ ecosystems are hugely beneficial to wide range of creatures throughout the year; providing animals, insects and birds with sustenance and shelter.

Some of Alasdair’s tips to creating a slice of woodland in your own garden

1. Don’t cut your grass too short. If you must have a pristine lawn, do try and leave at least a small area to grow long and set seed; as grasses are vital to many small birds and provide cover and shelter for many beneficial insects.

2. Sow wildflowers into a patch of your garden, or even in a tub, to attract bees and butterflies; but ensure that the wildflower mix you use contains only those plants native to your area. This ensures that ‘rogue species’ do not start to proliferate and drown out or hybridise with local plant varieties.

3. Don’t be too strict about sweeping up and removing leaf-litter and garden detritus such as old logs. What may look like a mouldy old tree trunk to you is a vibrant ecosystem of creatures and fungi. Try and keep an area in your garden that is just for nature, and let nature do its thing.

4. Try and plant shrubs or small trees such as berberis or rowan to provide vital berries to birds during the Autumn and Winter months.

5. Insect and animal shelters; as well as ‘nesting balls’ full of twigs, hair, feathers etc and hung from trees will attract creatures to make your garden their home. Remember – if you find a nest, even if it is somewhere inconvenient for you, you MUST NOT move it. Please also note that hedges, which are vital nesting spots for many birds, must not be cut between the months of March and August to avoid scaring the birds from their nests. It is an offence, under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to intentionally take, destroy or damage a nest  whilst it is being built or in use (please remember that some wild birds have second clutches, so seeing a first fledge may not be enough), and that includes frightening birds from their eggs or distressing nestlings and fledglings.

For further advice, please contact your local RSPB or the British Trust for Ornithology.

We have received some wonderful feedback about this walk and how informative people found it; and we look forward to our next Wild In The Woods, Wild in Garden event this coming Autumn. We would like to extend our thanks to Alasdair for such a great talk, and to everyone who came along.

(I would also like to say a huge thanks to Marjory for the fantastic photos of the day which are shown here.)


This project is supported by the Forestry Commission Community Seedcorn Trust.


Gardening for Scottish Wildlife – A Walk and Talk with Ranger Alasdair Taylor

Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden

The Organic Growers of Bothwell and Brighter Bothwell

Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project


A Walk and Talk with Alasdair Taylor



On Saturday 8th June meet at Bothwell Community Garden at 1.30 pm to take part in a walk highlighting gardening for Scottish wildlife and learn how you can make your garden attractive to birds, bees and butterflies.  By using the right plants and techniques you can create a tiny but vital slice of wild woodland on your doorstep.


This event will start with a short walk in Bothwell Woods, followed by a guided tour of our garden to see our own wildlife garden areas. Alasdair Taylor, the ranger taking this walk, will include storytelling about the folklore of some of the plants which grow in our local area.

Sturdy footwear and rain jackets are probably advisable judging by our weather so far this year! Please note that dogs, with the exception of assistance dogs, cannot be permitted entry to the Community Garden.



This project is supported by the Forestry Commission Community Seedcorn Trust.

Grow flowers for bees – A guest post by Brigit Strawbridge

It was truly amazing that Europe voted to support the partial ban on neonicotinoids this week, not least because it demonstrates a shifting awareness and consciousness of the importance of pollinators. However, although the restrictions will help enormously, they will not in themselves stop bee decline.

We need to continue the momentum we have built up on the pesticides issue, but also we all need, urgently, to PLANT MORE FLOWERS!


We have lost a staggering 98% of wildflower meadows and grasslands in the UK since the 1940’s. It is difficult to change agricultural practices overnight, but it is easy for those of us with gardens to fill every available space in ours with nectar & pollen rich flowers.

Many people say they haven’t room for flowers because they are using it all to grow fruit & veg – but without the flowers to sustain the pollinators throughout their life-cycles….. there will BE no fruit & veg!

Others say they can’t afford to buy plants or seeds, but there is not a gardener on the planet who would not willingly and freely share cuttings or seeds from their established plants.

If you are wondering what to plant, just go to your local garden centre and buy whatever flowering plants are covered with bees…..or look in your neighbours’ gardens to see which of their plants are being enjoyed by bees and ask for a cutting, or seeds when they set seed.

My favourite website for information on attracting pollinators to your garden is Foxleas:


And my favourite book is the recently published ‘Plants for Bees’:

Brigit ‘Bee’ Strawbridge is probably best known as one of the stars of the very successful BBC series ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ and  is an enthusiastic and very successful campaigner for the planet. Brigit has been a major influence in spreading the word about bee decline and the dangers of neonictotinoids throughout media outlets and social networking. She offers talks and workshops throughout the UK and has written a number of hugely inspiring articles for the national press and many environmental websites. You can follow Bee’s fantastic blog here.

Inspired by Brigit’s post? Please join us for our seed-bombing afternoon at Bothwell Park on Sunday May 12th; and our Gardening for Scottish Wildlife course on Saturday June 8th.

Beautiful flower beds in Culzean Castle grounds.

Beautiful flower beds in Culzean Castle grounds.

Seed Bombing Day at Bothwell Park Woods

Join us for a seed blitz!

Sunday 12th May 2013


Bothwell Community Garden at 1.30pm


Bothwell Park Woods (access via lane at the side of the Gopal Garage, New Edinburgh Road) at 2.00pm


As part of The Organic Growers of Bothwell and Brighter Bothwell’s ‘Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden’ Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project; we are inviting you to join us to visit the fantastic new Forestry Commission Woodland at Bothwell Park. The Forestry Commission have planted 20,000 new trees on the land which was formerly used as a municipal landfill site; and it promises to be a wonderful green space that future generations will treasure.

The purpose of our visit is to plant native wildflower plug-plants and throw wildflower ‘seed-bombs’ into those areas of woodland difficult to reach. This will prove invaluable at increasing biodiversity and providing vital habitat for bees, butterflies, and other local fauna. The walk will be led by ranger Alasdair Taylor, and kindly supported by the Forestry Commission’s Community Seedcorn Fund.

So don your sturdy shoes and join us for a fun family afternoon out in the fresh air ‘blitzing’ Bothwell, and helping bees and butterflies in the process!