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Wildlife gardening figures and statistics


 
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NatureInMyBackyard
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 20 Mar 2015
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:48 am    Post subject: Wildlife gardening figures and statistics Reply with quote

Dear gardeners,

I am writing a business plan for a garden wildlife consultancy service, and I'm having difficulty finding sales figures and other statistics about the demand for wildlife gardening in Ireland these days. I'm looking for sales figures for nestboxes, bird feeders and tables, bird food, bee shelters (or "hotels"), ponds, wildflower seed mixes, hedgerow plants, etc. Does anyone know where I could find these? (I have some reservations about some of these but that's a separate issue, at the moment I'm just trying to quantify the interest that Irish gardeners have in helping wildlife.) I'm also looking for membership figures for wildlife organisations, though that should be easy enough to get by contacting the organisations.

I would be very grateful for any information or suggestions, thank you very much!

Nessa
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medieval knievel
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Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 1008

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i suspect the suppliers of the bird feed kits, etc. would be the best bet, but they may not want to give you any figures because it could be commercially sensitive.

wildlife organisations in ireland tend to have far lower numbers than the equivalents in the UK, even allowing for the population difference.
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tippben
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would get in contact with as many gardening associations as possible, rather than the companies selling the products. Would you tell them how well or badly you are doing? Ponddigger on this forum might be willing to help you on that front. Try sending a pm. You may have to contract the services of a professional market research company to cover the whole country efficiently.

You say "I'm just trying to quantify the interest that Irish gardeners have in helping wildlife." so ask the gardeners. Would you be interested in x?, these are the benefits, y is the cost to you. How many would you buy? Most of the stuff you are talking about are one sale, then repair/replacement in several years.

Sandro Caffola has cornered the wildflower seed market in Ireland. Bird boxes etc. are available at every garden centre/farm shop. Ponds are a specialism, but you generally build one once, then it's maintenance, which, unless you are very wealthy, you do yourself.

Go for it, but what's your angle? I'm a qualified tree surgeon with a distinction in habitat management for wildlife. I find people want the advice, but will never pay for it.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
I would get in contact with as many gardening associations as possible, rather than the companies selling the products.

one potential issue with this approach is that the members of those associations are probably a tiny fraction of the market for the wildlife products; and their willingness to spend money on their garden is probably quite different to that of the general population who would casually pick up bird feeders and the like in aldi.
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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming originally from a similar sized village in the UK, and with no experience whatsoever outside my present Irish one, I'm staggered at the LACK of knowledge the locals have about wild birds over here. As kids in the UK, we'd spot most of the species as we roamed the countryside, purely out of interest, but apparently not so over here. We also had 'Nature Study' as a primary school subject which helped.

Having said all that, 'artificial' feeding is really only throwing nature into inbalance? We probably spend around 500 per year, if not more, on bird food but we're only keeping an artificial number of birds alive that then reproduce an unnatural number of offspring, at which stage nature takes over again. We apply a 'softie' human set of principles to what is actually a perfect natural system - but so many of us do it.

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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts are the same as Tippben's. Companies/retail outlets will not release their figures. You will have to stand outside garden centers with a clipboard, ask the relevant questions and tick the boxes. The people that say no are just as important as the people that say yes as the people going into a garden centre are possibly going to purchase something wildlife related whereas you will need to know also how many people have no interest to get a balanced opinion but I am sure you realise that anyway. Depending on your budget you need a market research company.
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