Wildlife Gardens

wildlife gardens

Wildlife Gardens


Help to boost wildlife in your garden

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Gardens are essential for wildlife in the UK. If all gardens were joined together the area would be enough to make them an important national park larger than Exmoor.

Spread throughout the country our gardens can provide shelter, homes, food and water for a wide range of wildlife. Garden birds thrive when feed and given nest boxes. Lucky garden owners can watch hedgehogs, badgers and foxes come into their garden to feed.

Through our gardens millions of people in the UK can make a positive and important contribution to protecting wildlife.

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Top tips for wildlife-friendly gardens

5 top things for a wildlife garden

For a quick and major contribution to your local wildlife try these five top tips.

  1. Start feeding the birds and also offer water during winter when natural sources my be frozen. A dry dust bath in the summer also helps birds keep clean.
  2. Put out some nest boxes. Find a place to hang a bird box and insect hotel. These provide shelter and a home for wildlife.
  3. Leave a part of the garden overgrown. Find a small area of the garden you are happy to let grass and flowers grow. An ideal place will be by your compost heap. Compost heaps provide homes for insects which are food to a lot of wildlife.
  4. Instal a pond. Even small ponds can offer water for wildlife and a place for beneficial insects to breed. A wildlife garden with lots of insects provide food for birds and wildlife.
  5. Get connected. Make sure you leave or make small holes in any fences and walls for animals to move. One of the best ways we can help hedgehogs is by giving them the chance to move between gardens in a safe way.

What are good plants for wildlife gardens?

When you start thinking of plating also think of wildlife. A bit of consideration can be beneficial to wildlife.

Ivy and other climbing plants provide cover for nests and birds. Use a trellis on the wall to increase the size of the gap so birds can build a nest.

Have an area of the garden devoted to local wildflowers. Sow seeds each year. When they bloom and flower they provide nectar for bees, butterflies and other wildlife. When they die off the seed heads feed birds.

Stay away from buddleia, or the butterfly bush. They may attract butterflies to feed on but they do not help butterflies reproduce. Caterpillars need specific plants to feed on and become a larva. Stick with native wildflowers and bushes wherever you can. Having the right plants and caterpillars in your garden means birds get to feed on their preferred diet during chick raising season.

How to help hedgehogs in the garden.

Making gardens hedgehog friendly is not that difficult to do. Some simple changes can make all the difference.

  1. Make sure hedgehogs can get in and out of your garden by placing strategic holes in any fences and walls.
  2. Have a woodpile in your garden where insects, beetles and other insects can breed. Close to the compost heap is ideal.
  3. Install or build a hedgehog house. These need to be built to keep predators out and protect hedgehogs from the wind and rain.
  4. Feed your hedgehogs if you see them in your garden. In the Autumn when they are feeding up for hibernation put out dried cat food or special hedgehog food. Do not feed milk and bread.
  5. In the Spring when the strimmer comes out always check under hedges for sleeping or hiding hedgehogs. Strimmers and bonfires are 2 big killers of hedgehogs that can easily be dealt with.

 

Are lawns wildlife-friendly?

Lawns may look green but offer little to wildlife. If you get the chance pass by on the lawn and opt for a wildflower meadow instead. These offer much better wildlife opportunities.

If you're worried about the neighbours then leave the front lawn for show and get to work on your back garden. Sprinkle lots of wild grass seeds and native wildflower seeds. There's nothing better than sitting outside on a summers day with the sounds of insects and the smell of wildflowers.

You can change your back garden into a wildlife haven packed with butterflies, birds and other creatures if you can happily sacrifice your lawn.

 

Wildlife garden video