The recent World Environment Day provided a very special opportunity to think about how we can all make time and space for nature - and Herald on Sunday readers responded in droves to our appeal for photos from your gardens to celebrate the occasion.

As our lives have slowed down, taking time to notice our natural environment, plants, trees, and wildlife has been a source of inspiration for young and old alike.

Many readers will have spent time creating a special place for nature in your garden, or noticed beautiful wildflowers and insects on woodland walks – then got snapping!

So here is a selection of your bug hotels, bird houses and baths, delightful gardens and little nature ponds for amphibious friends.

Thank you to everyone who responded and the ongoing environmentnal efforts of our hardworking partners SEPA and Scottish Natural Heritage.

How to make space for the natural world:

  1. Mow less – and make a butterfly border. Consider reducing mowing to create an undisturbed wildflower patch, strip or meadow for wildlife.
  2. Hedge not fence - hedgerows offer a habitat for wildlife that fences can never match. Consider planting flowering trees and shrubs such as hazel, willow, blackthorn and hawthorn.
  3. Provide a pond - as well as frogs and toads a pond can attract newts, dragonflies, birds and much more. A pond doesn’t have to be a big outlay, even using an old washing up bowl of water or a deep saucer of water on a windowsill can help.
  4. Swap and share cuttings - plants and seeds can be expensive, but for many pollinator friendly species, existing plants can be divided or new plants can be grown from cuttings and shared with friends and neighbours.
  5. Be a scientist from your garden - get involved in this fun way to help the environment. Submit sightings of birds, frogs, butterflies and much more. You really can make a difference.
  6. Help local birds - as well as some lazy gardening, such as not pruning bushes containing nests, and leaving some nest-building debris lying around - you may have space for a bird box.
  7. Love weeds - weeds may have a bad name, but many, such as dandelions, provide an important source of food for all types of pollinators.
  8. Start a mini herb garden - many plants do well in containers such as window boxes, pots and hanging baskets. Herbs such as lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme are popular with pollinators.

 

HeraldScotland:

Photo by Nik Munro

HeraldScotland: Dorothy McTaggartDorothy McTaggart

HeraldScotland: Photo by Alexander ScottPhoto by Alexander Scott

HeraldScotland: Photo by Claire PoxtonPhoto by Claire Poxton

HeraldScotland: Photo by Mairi ReidPhoto by Mairi Reid

HeraldScotland: Red squirrel sitting on a garden fence ©Lorne Gill SNHRed squirrel sitting on a garden fence ©Lorne Gill SNH

HeraldScotland: Ducks by Millie RoseDucks by Millie Rose

HeraldScotland: Bee by Lorna WilkinsBee by Lorna Wilkins

HeraldScotland: Photo by Nik MunroPhoto by Nik Munro

HeraldScotland: Photo by Alexander ScottPhoto by Alexander Scott

HeraldScotland: Photo by Caitlin GracePhoto by Caitlin Grace