How to bring more wildlife into your garden
1. Have a no mow area
It may sound rich coming from the folk (us) who promote having a well-kept, well maintained lawn all year round – but we’re not opposed to having a little wild spot, especially if it helps bees, butterflies and other worldly wildlife have a place to pollinate and patter around in. In fact, its quite stylish to have a well-maintained lawn, and a border of biodiversity surrounding it, just check out this one below! When you let your grass grow and inflict a no mow ban on yourself, you’ll see dandelions, daisies and clovers begin to pop up everywhere. Even better? You’ll notice lots of pollinators popping up too!
2. Grow wild
You may have a slightly smaller garden where perhaps letting the grass grow wild or having a meadow isn’t an option – if not, you can still grow bee and butterfly attracting wildflowers in pots, planters or anywhere else you deem fit! Wildflowers grow well in poor soil conditions, so if you’ve got a pot lying about with the remains of last year’s blooms – swap it out for some wonderful wildflower seed. Not only do you get the benefits of a barren pot being filled to the brim again with new blooms, but you’ll also be providing a pollen haven. If you want to establish a wildflower garden, follow our guide.
3. Hedge your bets
Hedges can be a nuisance – cutting them, shaping them and then getting rid of the trimmings is what only we can imagine as being the closest thing to an all-day work out! Save yourself the hassle and let your hedges do their own thing this summer – they are vital sources of food, shelter and passageway for many animals big and small. Hedges are often species rich – from insects to birds, to a waddling hedgehog on his next adventure, and to cut them down, remove them or lessen their abundance impacts on the wildlife that lives within them. Hedges and fences go hand in hand, whilst you may not find much wildlife living in and around fences, they are used as passageway to get from one lawn to the next. Leave gaps in your fencing at the bottom, this allows hedgehogs and frogs to move freely from place to place to find food and shelter as they please.
4. Feed the birds
We often forget that birds help the pollination process, so feeding them not only helps to sustain their existence – but helps ours in the long run too. The added advantage of feeding birds? If you have recently sown seed, birds can be fairly curious about it, but if you offer them their very own bird seed buffet in a feeder, they’ll be sure to leave it alone! Birds eat wild seed, go to the little birdy bathroom, and new seeds then grow (unless it lands on your car windshield first). So, feed the birds more than tuppence a bag and you’ll reap the rewards including seeing their charming feathery faces every day.
5. Make a sanctuary
There has been a general shift in the last decade towards a low maintenance garden – you know the type, fencing, paving and artificial grass – and sometimes, artificial plants! *shudders*. Unfortunately, this means that the wildlife we were once used to seeing in our gardens, has disappeared. Whether you’re in the city, countryside or somewhere in between – all wildlife finds solace in our individual gardens, if it’s there to be found. Why not build your own insect / bee and bug hotel using this guide from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (link), purchase a natural hedgehog home or a bird box? You can also create a compost heap that helps worms and woodlice thrive. Doesn’t sound that appealing? It’s also a great natural fertiliser for your soil as it is full of nutrients that the worms and woodlice have been working hard to break down. A compost heap also encourages frogs, toads and birds to feast upon its eh… delicacies, it’s a win-win situation for you and the wildlife in your garden.
There are lots of activities you can undertake at home to make your garden more biodiverse and encourage wildlife. A great source for instructions for making habitats for wildlife can be found on the RSPB website (here), and if you need to know some Wildflower 101 – we have lots of sources here on our site. See below for more information: