Introducing Wild Didcot

Are you interested in wildlife? Wondering how you can help nature thrive in Didcot? Then read on to find out more about Sustainable Didcot’s new initiative.

I’ve become a convert to wildlife gardening over recent years so it was great to attend a meeting of Wild Didcot, an offshoot of Sustainable Didcot, which will focus on nature and wildlife around town. The group is starting with the Pollinator Project, which hopes to make Didcot a haven for pollinators (not just bees, but butterflies, moths, hoverflies and other insects too).

Tortoiseshell on Verbena bonariensis
Tortoiseshell on Verbena bonariensis

Didcot Pollinator Project

The project hopes to achieve its aim by creating a pollinator friendly patchwork of gardens, public spaces and allotments across the town. Everyone can get involved, either by creating wildlife habitats in their own garden, or assisting with projects in Didcot.

Although we are now well into autumn, traditionally a quieter time for our pollinators, there are still things you can do right now. For example, bees require nectar when they wake up from winter hibernation. You can help by planting spring bulbs and corms, such as crocus and grape hyacinth, which the bees will love. If choosing other bulbs, do check for their bee-friendliness first, as some aren’t particularly beneficial.

Bumble bee
Bumble bee

Another suggestion to do now, is nothing! Rather than obsessively cutting back flowered plants, tidying up twigs and leaves or digging beds, leave them be. Allow the bees, and other pollinators and insects, to use them over the winter.

The Didcot Pollinator Project team will publish regular wildlife gardening tips on the Sustainable Didcot Facebook page so do pop over and give it a follow. Come spring time, there are lots of ideas the team wish to pursue, from building bee hotels to organising plant and seed swaps to running a wildlife gardening competition.

What else will Wild Didcot cover?

Aside from the Didcot Pollinator Project, the Wild Didcot team have generated a huge number of project ideas.

Holly blue butterfly
Holly blue butterfly

Proposals for future initiatives include wildlife gardening talks by local experts, bat surveys, promoting hedgehog highways, running a photo competition, pond creation, building bird and bat boxes and a wildlife garden trail around town.

Can you help with any of these? If so, the group would love to hear from you! You don’t have to be an expert (although if you know any that would be a great help). Volunteers are required to help with events, public engagement and practical sessions so do get in contact if this is something you could assist with.

How can I get involved?

Get in touch with Sustainable Didcot to find out more. You can email them via sustainabledidcot@gmail.com, follow Sustainable Didcot on Facebook or view more info on their main website.

Lastly, a plug from myself at In Didcot. There are 800+ members of the Wild in Didcot Facebook group. Do join if you’d like to share photos and information of the wildlife in and around our town.

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