The Bishop’s House Garden wildlife audit

Bishop's House Garden, credit Luke Bryant 1/1

All creatures great and small

As part of our 95th anniversary year, we are surveying the Bishop’s House Garden in Norwich to take a detailed look at wildlife found in an urban garden and suggest ways that everyone in Norfolk can improve gardens for wildlife. 

Two of our volunteer surveyors are visiting the garden each month, in compliance with the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines, to record the birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and some of the invertebrates – in particular the bees and butterflies – using the garden. Details of all the records will be shared with Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service.

We are working with Sam Garland, the head gardener for The Bishop’s House Garden, to help him best manage the garden to promote biodiversity. He said: “As a species we’re at a critical juncture. We are losing wild plants and animals at a rate far more rapid than anyone could have imagined. This enormous loss of biodiversity will have a devastating impact on how we live and interact with the world around us. We can, however, all make some difference in how we manage our gardens, so that we put ecology first and aim to create havens for wildlife to thrive.

"That is why we are working with Norfolk Wildlife Trust to survey The Bishop’s House Garden. Knowing what plant and animal species are here will allow us to alter our gardening techniques in favour of promoting biodiversity going forward. It will also offer a blueprint for how gardens elsewhere can do the same."

NWT Bishop's Garden Bioblitz

On Sunday 19 September 2021, we held an NWT Open Garden and Bioblitz at the Bishop's House Garden in aid of our Children And Nature Fund. Thanks to the kind donations of our visitors, we were able to raise over £1,500 for the CAN Fund, which helps us to run projects that connect children of all ages and backgrounds with nature.

Over 150 species records were taken by NBIS during the day, with more still to come from county recorders. One of the species found was identified as a Cladius grandis sawfly, in only its second record in Norfolk!

Check back soon for full details of the species that were found in the garden during the day.

Thank you to our corporate partners Smith & Pinching Financial Services Ltd for their kind support of the signage and printing for the event.

It’s an immense privilege to be the present custodian of the historic Bishop’s House Garden and I am delighted that Norfolk Wildlife Trust is helping me to enhance its biodiversity. With a background as an ecologist, I see caring for God’s creation as a core part of living the Christian life. I hope this joint project will enable that to happen in this patch of God’s earth so that our visitors on summer open days can delight even more in the beauty and diversity of this garden.

- Bishop Graham

Gardening with wildlife in mind

Never underestimate the importance of gardens for wildlife! Gardens have a vital role to play in providing food, shelter and space for a whole host of wildlife. No matter what size your garden, you will be amazed at the number of different animals and plants that call it home. Over the year we will show how to incorporate various wildlife friendly features into your own gardens.

Why not start your own garden wildlife audit and record the animals and plants you find in your garden? Share your garden wildlife records with us by emailing us and, don’t forget to make it a wildlife record we need to know: what you saw, when you saw it, where you saw it (a postcode) and who you are.

We are Wild About Gardens and so The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have set up the Wild About Gardens project, to celebrate wildlife gardening and to encourage people to use their gardens to take action to help support nature. You can find out more about Wild About Gardens and how you can get involved on the website.
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We are here to give advice and answer any questions you may have about Norfolk’s wildlife!

More ways to help wildlife

Click on a theme below to find out how to look after different species in the garden!

   Wild-About-Gardens-Bats Download   
   Wild-About-Gardens-Bees Download   
   Wild-About-Gardens-Beetles Download   
   Wild-About-Gardens-Butterflies Download   
   Wild-About-Gardens-Hedgehogs Download   
   Wild-About-Gardens-Ponds Download   
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Gardening tips from the Bishop's Garden

In this video, Bishop's Garden's Head Gardener, Sam Garland, shares his expert tips on composting and creating healthy soil: