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I am putting a number of odd broken ceramic pots, large stones and bricks, logs, twigs, bits of bamboo and broken tiles etc on top of the weed free covering, between the joists under the decking for newts, frogs, toads small mammals and insects.I think it is an ideal way to get rid of some of my rubbish and help the wildlife.
I too have noticed the Swifts return, I had only mentioned in the morning to my husband that the swifts should be back soon and there they were, swooping about above me. Since then the weather has been warmer and drier, perhaps they brought it with them?


We live in a suburb of Southampton and the swifts used to nest in next door's roof, but the owner had the roof repaired and now they can't get in there, what a pity.

I also went out to the garden on Mon 5th (may day)to see several swallows sweeping by. I must say it took me by surprise but it really lifted my heart after a cool spring. The sun has shone everyday since here in Carrickfergus. Who knows perhaps the swallows have brought us a hot african summer :)
My daughter and I built our wildlife pond early last spring. Last year we had frogs inhabit it and making themselves at home, leaving us with several offspring who have returned this year. But to our great joy we have a newt (probably more than one I don't know yet) in our pond this year to add to the wildlife already inhabiting it.
I too was very pleased with my new decking but unfortunately then had some uninvited guests sharing it with me - 2 rats! The man from the Council told me that decking is a favourite home for rats, together with left-over bird food. I think we have got rid of them now, but just keep an eye out for any burrowing underneath the decking going on. On the positive side i have a blackbird's nest, together with many sparrows and a family of blue tits.


I have been reading the prev comments of ponds, we have at least 30 newts in our pond,some are dark brown with marks on back and some are light brown do you know which are male and which are female, unfortunately these love to eat the frog spawn hence no frogs or toads,we would like to have some gold fish in there as well does anyone know if these are compatible.
Go to the Froglife website to try and identify newts, although they can be tricky to start with. At this time of the year the male smooth newts are distinctive because they have wavy crests along their backs. Even though this is described as 'small' it is very different to the female which has none. This is what we have in our London garden. Please don't put goldfish into the pond. Fish and wildlife are just not compatible. You will lose the newts, dragonflies, boatmen, beetles and all.
In response to Sylvia's comments the dark spotted-back newts are males and the light brown ones are females. My frogspawn hatched this year and I saw many tadpoles but now they have all disappeared. Could it be due to hungry newts?
We have had a pond with fish for 10 yrs.Last year we made a wildlife one no fish to eat the tadpoles we also have smooth newts.But we are having problems with mallards can you tell me if they will eat tadpoles.They are probably from the local park and have no fear of us or the dog.
I was out in the garden today and came across a newt while i was doing the weeding. we live near a river but don't have a pond in the garden, i wasn't sure if i should move it to the river or leave it, it was playing dead so i left it for a while and when i looked again it had gone.
Newts, like toads and frogs, wander far from the ponds in which they grew up. It is a common misconception that if they are found away from the water under a log or stone that then they must be lost. Just leave them where they are and they will find their way back to the water when it is time to breed again. The same goes for frogs and especially toads, which really only go into water in early spring to mate and lay eggs. They are all quite happy on land too. The word amphibian comes from the greek Amphi-bios, meaning life (bios) on both sides, i.e. living a double life in water and on land.
Help please. I am a novice. Apple tree for two years running starts to blossom but little appears and then dies off. All leaves are now shrivelled up. No apples last year and does not look promising. Tree looks very old and has Mistletoe growing on it. It is a lovely old tree and a nice feature. Any ideas please.
i have a step in my garden which is a railway sleeper- it will not stop oozing out creasote/oil how can i stop this, thanks jackie.

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