endangered birds supported by living walls: starling, thrush and sparrow

Endangered Birds Supported by Green Walls

British birds are declining

Sadly, there are nearly 70 bird species now on the UK conservation status red list.  This means that the relevant organisations consider them under the greatest level of threat.  Some of the red-list species are globally endangered.  Others have suffered more than a 50% decline in the UK in recent years.  Surprisingly, alongside rare species like the nightingale and the golden oriole, birds that were once common are also on the list.  For example, conservation bodies worry seriously about the declining numbers of sparrows, starlings and thrushes in Britain.  The iconic house sparrow (passer domesticus), is disappearing fast.  We can’t let this happen!  However, the good news is that among the measures you can take to support endangered birds is creating living walls.

How can I help?

There are many ways individual gardeners can help.  According to the RSPB “The first step is considering what to do in your own outdoor spaces to create better habitats for wildlife.”  One measure individuals who don’t have space for a ‘horizontal’ garden can take, is to make a vertical one.

Install a living wall for the sake of the birds

Studies have shown that green walls are a particularly good way for city dwellers to create wildlife-friendly spaces.  For example, in The Animal Biodiversity of Green Walls in the Urban Environment, Caroline Chiquet found some interesting facts.  Firstly, the number of birds attracted to living walls in towns and cities was significantly larger than to bare walls.  That in itself is unsurprising.  However, Chiquet also found that the living walls created a focal point that attracted more birds to the local vicinity in general.  She and her team observed that different bird species use the green walls for different purposes.  For example, wrens, blackbirds, thrushes and sparrows nest within them.  Also, many species forage for food on them.  Still others use them a refuge where they can perch to rest.  All in all, it seems that living walls are extremely important for city birds.

Chiquet’s final conclusion reads:

“This study … has demonstrated that vertical building surfaces colonised by climbing vegetation are used by birds in the urban environment. Without requiring additional land take or sophisticated and expensive modification to buildings, such structures may be important for promoting the conservation of species declining in abundance […]. The trend to higher building densities in urban areas is likely to result in lower urban bird densities (Evans et al. 2009); green walls may be one method of mitigating the negative impacts of such developments on forage, cover and nesting opportunities.”

Isn’t it time you installed a living wall?  If you’d like to know more about it, get in touch with Calum on 01727 811448 and he can discuss what options are possible in your location.