Our gardens are on the front line in the battle to protect our native species. It’s estimated that there are 16 million gardens in the UK, and all have the chance to do their bit. No matter how big or small, every garden can offer refuge for wildlife. Whether your garden is gravel, grass or decking; these simple measures can make all the difference. It is our responsibility to look after Britain’s native wildlife. Below are a few simple things that you can do to attract more wildlife to your garden.
One of the most simple and maintenance free ideas is to create an insect hotel. This can be a pile of leaves and twigs or rotting logs that simply get left to do their thing. You can also tie a bunch of sticks together with string and place your hotel somewhere quiet in the garden. Or, if you don’t want to make one you can buy a ready made hotel from most garden centers. Your hotel will create food and shelter for insects such as beetles and spiders that will go on to benefit the rest of your garden’s ecosystem.
You don’t have to leave your garden to grow into an small jungle to benefit your local wildlife – a small corner, border or even a large plant pot will do. Leaving a space to grow naturally not only promotes different plant species, but it allows plants to go to seed or produce flowers which all go on to feed you garden wildlife, and the best thing is you don’t need to do any maintenance!
Prime nesting spots can be hard to come by for many of Britain’s bird species. Buying or building a nest box can be great fun and it gives song birds a head start when it comes to the breeding season.
When installing a bird box make sure that it faces between north and west. This will stop the box being exposed to strong sunlight and west winds.
Water is essential for all life, and providing a source can see many new species enter your garden. Your pond doesn’t have to be big as it can be as simple as a bucket dug into the ground. However big or small, make sure there is a way for wildlife to get in and out of your pond. Water will always attract insects which will later encourage other species such as frogs, birds, and bats.
Creating a compost heap benefits everyone! You’re provided with rich nutrients for your garden, whilst providing a habitat for wildlife. As your garden waste breaks down, it will create heat. This heat provides the ideal habitat for worms, woodlice, frogs, and even slow worms if you’re lucky.
A majority of gardens in the UK are fenced, and although this doesn’t cause a problem for most wildlife, animals such as hedgehogs aren’t able to scale them so see their habitat continually getting smaller. Cutting a small section of fence out of the base gives hedgehogs a free passage to move from garden to garden keeping those slugs away.
Planting wild flowers brings beautiful colours and wonderful smells to your garden. It also provides essential food for insects and bees. With proper research, you can plant varieties of flowers that will bloom from spring through to autumn and keep your garden wildlife happy.
If you don’t have the space on the ground for plants, then why not plant a species that climbs? Ivy is a great evergreen plant the provides pollen for bees whilst producing some of the latest ripening berries for the garden birds in the winter.
There are many small changes that we can make to our gardens that will have a big knock-on effect to our native wildlife. Even if only one of these steps is followed your local wildlife will thank you.
About Vance Paines
MD at Goodnature Traps UK and Squirrel Trapping Maestro
Vance is a military veteran with a passion for the countryside. His experiences in both wildlife management and conservation have brought a dynamic view to conservation pest control.
Now the Managing Director of Goodnature Traps UK, Vance is responsible for all aspects of the company, from management right through to end user installation. His broad outlook ensures a positive experience for our supporters.Contact Vance