We all love spending time in our gardens, and enjoying the nature it brings to them. There are a few simple things we can do to attract lots of different types of wildlife, and release the full potential of our gardens.
1. Green fingers
Use plants that provide food and shelter. Fragrant flowers like buddleia, lavender, dandelions or bluebells will attract butterflies and bees, and fruit trees and shrubs are a favourite for mammals and birds.
2. Get creative
Make a log pile with unwanted pieces of wood; this creates a perfect habitat for insects and shelter for other animals. Alternatively, a rock pile has similar benefits with many animals making the gaps and cracks their home. Both of these are great, simple options as they dont need any maintaining and can be left untouched for years.
3. Go organic
Avoid using pesticides, because they can be harmful to various animals and interrupt the food chain. Birds and hedgehogs eat pests so they will be controlled naturally.
Start composting by having a compost pile or bin. You can use unwanted vegetation from your garden like grass cuttings and fallen leaves, along with house waste like vegetable or fruit peel, paper, teabags, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters. This will provide shelter and food for many species. Avoid meat and dairy leftovers as this may encourage vermin.
5. Provide a source of water
If you haven’t got a bird bath or small pond, a washing-up bowl set into the ground will be just as efficient and beneficial.
6. Don’t waste
Cut up fruit that is too ripe and leave it in your garden instead of throwing it away, this will attract animals.
7. Have a ‘wild corner’
Leave part of your garden uncut, this will provide shelter and a varied habitat for many animals and instead of worrying about maintenance, you can sit back and watch it flourish.
8. Make a home
Buy or make a nesting box for birds or even bats to nest in. Make sure you put it in a sheltered place and high enough and so it’s out of reach from cats.
9. Build a bee hotel
A bundle of hollow stems or bamboo shoots can be tied together and hung to create a perfect environment for bees and keep them returning year after year.
10. Use climbing plants
You can encourage climbers like ivy or jasmine to grow on garden walls as somewhere for birds to nest and to provide pollen for bees, butterflies and insects.