Stinging nettles are vital for attracting wildlife

Students at the merged Havant and South Downs College receiving their results this morning Picture: Tamara Siddiqui

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A WILDLIFE charity is urging gardeners in Hampshire not to look at nettles as a troublesome weed.

According to the RSPB nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects.

They provide early food for ladybirds which in turn are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds. In late summer the huge quantity of seeds produced are food for many seed-eating birds, such as house sparrows, chaffinches, and bullfinches. They are also a magnet for hedgehogs, shrews, frogs and toads.

Adrian Thomas, the RSPB South East’s gardening author, said: ‘Gardening for wildlife is all about providing the things that wildlife needs to survive.

‘Because so many live in or feed on nettles, if you have room, why not nurture a few? They make great organic fertiliser too.’