Survey reveals wild side of Isle of Wight gardens

By Emily Pearce

Monday, April 28, 2014


Survey reveals wild side of Isle of Wight gardens

One of the Isle of Wight’s red squirrels. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

TWENTY per cent of Isle of Wight residents who took part in a national wildlife survey said red squirrels visited their garden every day.

No-one who took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, in which people were asked to make a note of the wildlife in their gardens, reported any grey squirrel sightings.

For the first time in the 36-year history of the survey, this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch participants were asked to tell the RSPB about other types of wildlife in their gardens, as well as birds.

Around seven per cent of people said they regularly saw frogs and six per cent had spotted hedgehogs, whose numbers have dropped by 30 per cent nationally since the millennium.

Deer were rarely glimpsed on the Isle of Wight, with 90 per cent of people reporting they had never seen a muntjac or roe deer.

The results of the bird survey, published earlier this month, revealed the blue-tit was the most common bird in Island gardens, followed by the house sparrow and the blackbird.

According to the results, grey squirrels were the south east’s most popular wild visitor, with 82 per cent of people spotting them regularly.

RSPB conservation scientist Daniel Hayhow said: "This massive survey shows how important our gardens are for the amazing variety of wildlife living there. In a few years’ time we’ll be able to compare how the distribution of garden wildlife may have changed.

"Hopefully, the fact more people are helping to give nature a home in their gardens and outside spaces will mean we see improvements rather than declines."



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by Tim Brayford

23rd May 2014, at 10:15:10

It is really pleasing that more people are becoming aware of the presence of wild deer on the Isle of Wight.

The CP archives reveal that since the 1970's Muntjac, Fallow and Red deer have all been seen at large in the wild whilst more recently Roe deer tracks have been found.

Some conservation groups have expressed their concerns but Natural England appear to have been unable to find any substantive evidence that these deer are having a negative impact on the local environment .

Last Summer I had the pleasure of observing a family group of a mature Red Hind and her Yearling. It soon became clear that the Hind had recently given birth to a calf which she hid in some undergrowth. I observed this family over several weeks but as the calf grew stronger they eventually wandered off.

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by michael brian chandler

28th April 2014, at 12:55:03

i saw a squirrel this morning while wating at a bus you do.... and they come to the food boxes in my garden nearly every day. they seem to be increasing in numbers which is greatr news

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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