Keep it British!

Posted by Sara King BSc (Hons) AIEEM on 22/03/2013

Research by scientists at Anglia Ruskin Universityhas shown that the presence of exotic, non-native trees and shrubs is having a negative impact on bird populations in British parks.

As the UK's most experienced ecological consultancy and contractor we always  encourage the use of native plant species within landscape plans for schemes, as these usually provide the most benefit to wildlife. Non-native plants are popular as they are usually evergreen, however native plants can provide higher quality habitat.

Blue tit and great tit populations were monitored in terms of breeding success within nest boxes at two locations - city parks and traditional woodland habitats. The research found that blue tits and great tits have more difficulty raising chicks within man-made landscapes than more natural native habitats. This is due to lower levels and diversity of insect prey within man-made habitats supporting non-native species. Native plant species attract a higher range of invertebrate prey for bird species, therefore increasing population success. Based on this research, schemes should include high quality native planting within landscaping to encourage wildlife and increase diversity. This should include nectar producing flowering plants, and fruiting plants, to enhance foraging opportunities for wildlife.

Other blogs that may be of interest:

POSTnote (Feb 2013): Planning decisions and biodiversity

Five non-native invasive aquatic plant species banned