With such a high demand for housing, thousands of wildlife spots are being destroyed for new homes to be built.
Creating a wildlife friendly garden doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to let the garden grow out of control. Instead all you need to do is implement a few different habitats and nature will come.
Wildlife thrives in many different environments. One of the best ways to attract wildlife to your garden is to offer a water source. Even if you only have a balcony to offer you could get a small bird bath which will attract plenty of birds to the areas. If you are fortunate to have a garden you could introduce a pond, again the pond can vary in size depending on the garden, you may only be able to fit a small bucket or you may be able to install a sizeable pond. When installing a pond make sure one side is sloping, you can do this by adding bricks or stones, this will aid creatures getting in and out of a pond.
Country file also suggests “Vertical surfaces, textured walls, even bin stores and the tops of bird boxes can be used to create extra habitat. Why not hang some wildflower baskets or plant low lying herbs into the cracks and crevices of your patio. Small holes drilled into fence posts can be used by solitary bees in spring or hibernating ladybirds and lacewings in autumn.”
To increase biodiversity in your garden providing some shelter will also improve your wildlife garden. Proving shelter for hedgehogs will keep them safe during the day when predators are out. Bird boxes are also great to install around the garden. Birds help regulate insects in the garden and are wonderful to watch.
Building an insect hotel can also be beneficial to wildlife. Lots of little creepy crawlies love a dark place to go and nest.
Proving food is an essential part to improving your garden’s wildlife. For some it may be pollen rich plants. In my own garden I have had great success with buddleia (known as the butterfly bush), rape seed flowers and oxy daisies, but its important to use native species of flowers to encourage native wildlife.
During the winter hang a bird feeder full of seed and during the summer fat balls.
Ensuring you have food available encourages the wildlife to visit your garden and return.
Even in the smallest of gardens we can all greatly improve our wildlife biodiversity.
- Lawns, especially areas of un-cut grass, are an important habitat for all sorts of insects, not to mention a feasting ground for the hungry birds which feed on them.
- Borders, filled with flowering plants and shrubs, give nectar rich food to butterflies and bees, as well as seeds, berries and cover for birds and small mammals.
- Trees, and hedges offer roosting and nesting sites for birds and mammals, as well as valuable shelter and cover from the elements and possible predators.
- Ponds and water features can be a habitat for a huge variety of animal life, from amphibians and invertebrates to bathing garden birds.
- Woodpiles, compost and trimmings, the decomposing and discarded off-cuts from your garden, can be incredible places for animals to live, feed and hibernate.