Concerned by the continuing loss of wildlife across our landscape, a group of Hitchin residents has decided to take matters into their own hands by setting up a community nature project.

Launched on Hitchin Apple Day (Saturday, October 9) in Market Place, Hitchin Nature Network aims to restore nature to gardens and green spaces across the town.

The group encourages Hitchin residents to make space in their gardens for wildlife, and is asking people to share information about their habitats so that the progress can be recorded across the network.

Co-founder Melanie Coath said: “We’re encouraging people to set aside an area of their garden for nature by planting flowers for bees and butterflies, putting up nest boxes or letting part of their lawn grow longer for crickets and grasshoppers.

"My family and I have been delighted by the garden visitors we’ve had since allowing an area of our garden to go wild.”

Simon Wightman, who also co-founded the project, added: “Anyone can do something for nature no matter what the size of your garden, patio or even windowsill.

"All of these small actions can add up to make a big difference!”

This project has been inspired by a similar project in Felixstowe, where the town residents now have an area over the size of a football pitch set aside for nature.

Liam Coath, age six, said: “I'm excited about this project because it helps the bees and other animals that I love."