Help Protect Wildlife School competition

Gardening can be very therapeutic but it’s imperative we take our pets and wildlife into consideration, as some of our gardening practices can unintentionally harm them in the process. A tidy lawn can spark up the beauty of the entire house; therefore, Athlone Animal Welfare is proposing some suggestions that are both environment and wildlife friendly.

A little change in our gardening routine can make all the difference. For example, before strimming any grass, make checks for wild animals and their nests in the long grass. Especially look for hedgehogs because they can curl up in the grass making them harder to spot.

Another important thing to be wary of are slug pellets. It’s understandable that slugs and snails can pose a significant burden to a garden if you’re growing vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce etc, but before resorting instantaneously to slug pellets, it’s advisable to do your research. Firstly, these pellets are harmful not only for your pets and wildlife but also for children because it contains Metaldehyde. This chemical is so strong that it causes the body of slugs to dry out eventually leading it to die. There are however alternatives to be considered such as slug pellets with Ferramol as the active ingredient rather than Metaldehyde, as it’s not harmful to wildlife and children. There are some DIY hacks that can be used to keep slugs away such as making a slug barrier using broken eggshells or copper, beer traps etc.  Another thing to keep in mind before treating any weeds is the choice of your weed killer. Over applying or not diluting it enough can not only kill the surrounding birds and animals but it can also be hazardous to other plants as well. The most environmentally friendly option is the mixture of vinegar, Epson salts and Dawn dish soap.

There are many resourceful organisations working in aid of wildlife. Irish Wildlife Matters provides an excellent reference tool and portal to get any information regarding rescue and treatment of wild animals that one might encounter. Some animal welfares in Ireland are dedicatedly working in the rescue of vulnerable wild animals such as Animal Foundation in Kildare which not only provide ample information about handling of wildlife but also provide a home for them if needed. Similarly, The Hogsprickle in County Clare is earnestly providing all the resources in the aid of hedgehogs and other wildlife.

In the case of any queries about preventing harm to wildlife and the accurate treatment of injured wildlife, Athlone Animal Welfare can arrange a skilled wildlife rehabilitator to deliver talks on wildlife matters. This knowledgeable lady is a registered veterinary nurse, certified wildlife rehabilitator and animal behaviorist.

This months’ competition is offering a lucky reader the chance to secure a wildlife talk for a school class, youth group, tidy towns volunteers, compassionate group of friends etc. Simply email the following details to before 5pm July 31st.

Your name, the group you are nominating to receive the talk and the following code AAW-WS-WT.