It’s that time of year again when those of us with gardens are dusting off our lawnmowers and strimmers to get our grass looking tip-top, ready for barbecues.
However, before you get going with your gardening, it’s important to run a few checks of the lawn to make sure you and the local wildlife escape unscathed.
There may well be some local fauna hiding in your grass, especially if your verges are a little overgrown. Hedgehogs are especially prone to strimmer-related injuries, as their fear response is to stay still and curl up with their spikes out, which offers no defence against power tools. A quick scan of the areas you’re planning to chop, and running a rake gently through longer grass, can help you spot any hidden hedgies. If you find one, put on some thick gardening gloves and move the creature to a safe place.
There is also a chance that fledgling birds might have fallen out of nests and onto your grass. They will be small, but likely noisy, and their parents are likely to be nearby. It’s best to retreat to a safe distance and wait for the adult birds to come and teach their young to take off.
Making sure your pets are well away from the lawnmower is a given, but what you might not think of is the scattering of half-eaten bones and toys your dogs leave in the garden. At best you’re looking at a damaged lawnmower, at worst a serious injury. Running over a bone, large stick or hard dog toy could be disastrous, so make sure to clear all of these up first. Be meticulous, as half-buried bones might be hard to spot with a cursory glance. Also, be sure to pooper scoop thoroughly before you start mowing – nobody wants to be splattered with poo!