A UNIVERSITY of Worcester academic is to show off his wildlife haven garden on a popular BBC gardening programme.

Dr Duncan Westbury, course leader for the university’s BSc environmental management and sustainability degree, will be showing viewers around his garden, on BBC Gardeners’ World tomorrow (April 28).

Over the last 10 years, he has worked to make his garden rich in biodiversity, supporting insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

Dr Westbury said he was delighted that Gardeners’ World was featuring his garden.

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He said: “I have always wanted to share what I do with as many people as possible, and this has provided a wonderful platform to do this.

“If I inspire one more person to do more in their garden for wildlife, then that is one more gardener that is doing their bit, but hopefully with 2.5m plus viewers, I’ll encourage a few more."

Dr Westbury said all outdoor spaces, including apartment balconies, can be used to support wildlife.

He said: “If you don’t have space for a wildflower patch, consider planting a few individual wildflower plants within your flowerbed.

"If you only have space for hanging baskets, trailing wildflowers like bird’s-foot trefoil make excellent planting companions with your more formal horticultural plants such as lobelia.

“If you want to make a difference for wildlife, start small, but think big. Many wildflowers are easy to grow and don’t need watering or feeding to make them thrive.

"If you have a lawn, raise the cutting height to about 6cm. This will immediately provide a better habitat for ground active insects, especially ground beetles which will help control many garden pests.

"In turn, they become an important food resource for hedgehogs.”

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Dr Westbury's research is focused on how we can utilise the benefits of species which are supported by wildflower strips in the farmed landscape. 

He said: “My ethos has been that every plant in the garden must have a purpose, be it to provide food for us to eat, or food, shelter and nesting sites for native wildlife.

“The ability of the habitats I have created to capture carbon and store this in the soil has become an increasing focus.

"Overall, this means that many horticultural plants have been removed from the garden and the vast majority of plants, including trees, are therefore native to the UK."

BBC Gardeners’ World will air on Friday, April 28 at 9pm on BBC Two.