Attracting Wildlife to your Garden – 1 – Creating Habitats
To celebrate National Gardening Week we are going to guide you in how to make your garden more wildlife friendly and attract a greater variety of wildlife to your garden. With new housing developments appearing all the time, we are constantly destroying natural environments that were home to a wide variety of wildlife. For this reason alone it is important that when planning a garden we take into account the needs of our animal friends, however attracting wildlife to your garden can have several other positive effects. They can act as effective pest control, keeping those slugs off your lettuces. They help to tidy up and remove all of the waste organic matter that builds up over the year. They are also great at encouraging children to connect with nature and become interested in wildlife. With this in mind we have set out some basic tips to help you start to attract more wildlife into your garden.
No matter how big or small the space is, you can always find ways of creating wildlife friendly habitats. It is possible to create homes for a diverse range of wildlife without giving over your entire garden to it.
You may not be able to do all of these suggestions, but don’t worry, it is best to focus on making those that you can do as good as they can be. Lots of these habitats you may already have and just need to improve.
Lawns – These are both a home for all sorts of insects, but also a feeding ground for birds. If you can leave an area to grow long this would be ideal. If you are looking to tidy up an overgrown area, wait until the spring when the mini-beasts can move on.
Hedges and Trees – These provide cover for birds and mammals from predators and the elements, as well as a place to nest.
Ponds / Water – Water supports a huge range of animal life, from those that live in it, to those that use it as a resource eg Frogs, Newts, Insects, Wild Birds, and other garden visitors
Flower borders – Provide nectar and food to butterflies and bees. Also seeds, berries, and cover for small animals and birds.
Waste piles – Even piles of what you may consider to be waste can be a fantastic place for wildlife to live, feed and hibernate. Places such as wood piles and compost bins are the most common and extremely helpful in supporting a diverse range of wildlife. Deadwood, trimmings and foliage can provide habitats to fungi and moss too which all help in the natural cycle of the garden habitat.
Look out tomorrow for our article on which plants to choose to attract wild birds to your garden.