Your suggestions on how to keep pets calm on Bonfire Night

Fireworks on Bonfire NightThis afternoon we asked for your suggestions on how to keep pets who are scared of fireworks calm on Bonfire Night. Here are the suggestions we’ve received from you on Facebook:

  • Roddy: With domestic animals we can keep them indoors, control the environment to some extent, and reassure them if they are frightened. The wild animals and birds must be terrified and its them I really feel for.
  • Freddie: If you act worried thinking that your pet’s will get stressed they will pick up on that and figure there is something to get stressed about. If you’re calm and ignore it they should learn from an early age to ignore it too. My cats sit at the window watching fireworks, they seem to enjoy them.
  • June: One of my dogs barks but the other doesn’t. Both Jack Russells. If TV is up loud enough to cover noise it should be okay because the fireworks are usually a distance away. Tried a Thundershirt on my dog but it didn’t really help.
  • June: Have put Thundershirt back on my dog and she has calmed down.
  • Jackie: Too late for today but a cd of firework or explosive noises may help them to get used to loud noises.
  • Anne: Play music fairly loud to mask some of the noise.
  • Frank: They should ban them why sill have them for it you try and do what he did to day they would put hi in nick and never be let out
  • Phil: Over the past week during various celebrations in the distance I’ve been trying to encourage my pup to accept the distant bangs, this he seems to be accepting, so hopefully during the next few nights he may accept what is going on, just in case we have got the radio and music on stand by ?
  • Monique: Pull the curtains turn the TV up and don’t let your pets see you worried, and off course make sure they can’t get out, keep your PETS safe………..

Some great suggestions – what tips do you have?

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

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Caption needed – what is happening with this elephant?

Elephant with birds

We asked for captions on our Facebook page on Friday. Last time we received so many brilliant ones for the bunny rabbit that we couldn’t resist doing it again.

Here are the replies we received:

  • Are we half possom?
  • Are you ticklish?? ooh go on you know you are !!
  • I nose you don’t I?
  • Here… hold on to this n we’ll make a Trunk call to find your Mummy, but we’ll play until we do x
  • Wanna play with me?
  • Baby pals
  • “Ooh you smell nice”
  • Nope your not mine either lol xx
  • Here chick chick here chick chick
  • So your saying I’m not one of you?
  • No your not my mummy, no your not my mummy, nope your not my mummy. Mummy!!!!!!! Where are you?!
  • Who you calling big ears?
  • Give us a kiss!
  • Have you lost your mummy. do you want to make a trunk call?
  • Ur trunk is not as big as mine, why?

What do you think is happening on on the picture?

wedding-meCat works in the marketing team and is responsible for online marketing, social media and the newsletter.

She spends most of her time reading about a variety of interesting facts, such as oddly named Canadian towns, obscure holidays and unusual gardening.

She mostly writes about Primrose news and current events.

See all of Cat’s posts.

What would your caption be?

Creating a Creature-Friendly Garden

There are many advantages to encouraging wildlife to thrive in your garden. Not only is it fascinating to witness nature up close (especially if you have children), but encouraging certain types of creatures to take up residence in your garden will act as a natural deterrent for many common pests.

Hedgehog Eating food in the garden
For example:

Birds make a valuable addition to any garden as they will eat most insects, with certain kinds of birds mercifully enjoying snacking on slugs and snails. Pest-eating birds include: robins, magpies, wrens, song thrushes, blackbirds and fieldfares.

While insects are amongst the pests you want to eradicate, there are some insects that are actually useful to have in your garden.

Ladybirds, lacewings, parasitic species of wasps, hoverflies and beetles are among the good kinds of insects who like to eat other pests common to UK gardens.

Other creatures to encourage are hedgehogs, frogs, toads, bats and newts, all of which enjoy eating the pests you hate as part of their daily diet.

So if you want to attract (the right kind of) wildlife to your garden, try incorporating some of these useful features:

Garden pond – Ponds are loved by many creatures, such as frogs, dragonflies and newts, which all need water to breed; birds which use them to drink and bathe, and water boatmen, which live on the bottom of ponds and consume algae and plant debris.

Compost heap – A compost heap provides a place for hedgehogs to hibernate and for slowworms to breed; it will also supply valuable compost that will naturally fertilise your garden’s soil.

Long grass and nettles – Long grassy areas will attract insects, provide shelter for animals, and food for predators.

Thick hedge – A hedge gives nesting areas and cover for birds, while berries provide food during the winter.

Logs – Logs provide an excellent hiding place for all sorts of amphibians, frogs and ground beetles.

Food for Wildlife

Providing food doesn’t have to just mean hanging a bird feeder or throwing out some nuts for the squirrels. In the autumn and winter months, berries and seeds are in plentiful supply, providing food for birds and many other insects.

The garden plant Pyracantha provides berries as well as shelter for birds and support for insects; it can also be trained against a wall.

Pyracantha plant provides tasty berries for garden wildlife
Pyracantha

Summer provides you with many options for food. Plants that are rich in nectar can encourage predators such as wasps and hoverflies. Fennel, Dill and Aster plants provide food for many insects, as well as flowers such as Candytuft, Aubrieta and Wallflower, and shrubs such as Viburnum and Buddleia. You should try and include at least one nectar-rich plant for bumblebees.

Shelter

For a wildlife friendly garden, shelter is vital to protect the creatures from predators, give a place to nest, and somewhere to hibernate. Trees and plants such as Evergreen provide all-year round cover.

Rose, Pyracantha and Mahonia shrubs are an excellent choice for nesting and provide berries and hips to eat. Climbers provide much needed protection, camouflage and nesting spots for birds. Bats and hedgehogs can be lured into the garden with a compost heap or piles of leaves, though if you’ve got the cash to spend you can buy a special box shaped house where hedgehogs can hibernate and bats can sleep.

Image Credits: Sids 1 and Muffet

This is a guest post written by Amy Fowler for Garden Topsoil Direct; specialists in compost delivery across the UK. Find out more on their Facebook page or find out more about Amy on Twitter.

To the garden and beyond!

Bee on sunflower
Today we went on a wildlife hunt in our garden but the only luck we had was getting a snap of a bee on our sunflowers. Not to be discouraged with finding so little besides the bee and our usual feathered companions we took the search further even looking for those pesky slimy plant munching pests aka slugs and snails, the idea being that we could see who found the biggest but my boys soon lost interest.

Venturing beyond the garden we took a walk to our local loch, bread in hand in hope of seeing the pair of swans which frequent it alongside the ducks. After trekking up to it battling endless hills (my town is built on hills and I’m sure everywhere we seem to go is an uphill climb) then having a little break to play in the local park we finally arrived at the loch ready to see some wildlife at last but the swans weren’t there!
Moorhen on loch
Thoroughly disappointed we threw the bread in anyway. My boys looked as downcast and downtrodden as the photographer next to us who must’ve trekked all that way for a picture to leave empty handed. The reason for the swans’ absence is perhaps the amount of dog walkers around because our local swans aren’t too keen on dogs at all.
Young moorhen chicks
Not wanting to see my boys so unhappy I decided we were not leaving until they got to see something… anything! After carefully explaining to them to get comfy, stay still and stay quiet we all waited patiently. It wasn’t long before something started moving among the reeds then ventured out for a nose, my boys were delighted! It wasn’t the swans but a collection of wee birds (I think it could be a moorhen and maybe it’s young?) we watched them run along the water and were rewarded with one of them coming up for a close look at us.
Butterfly on flower
Finally my boys were happy and we set out for home managing to get a picture of a lovely butterfly on the way. Tired from our wildlife hunt we reached our gate and were just about heading upstairs to our house when my neighbour shouted us. Curious we followed her into her garden and my boys kneeled down to look where she was pointing. Lo and behold there was a wee toad! Needless to say it made their day and ended our adventure with me thinking that maybe we should’ve just asked our neighbour for a look round her garden instead!Wee toad in neighbour's garden

Nicole

Wildlife in the Garden

A beautiful butterfly in the garden

I do love encouraging wildlife into the garden; isn’t it great when something decides to take up residence in your patch?
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