Posted: Tuesday 18th April 2017 by Victoria Hill
Make your own patch of nature a wildlife haven with these 7 top tips for a wildlife-friendly garden.
1. Make a wildlife pond
Water is vital for any animal to thrive, and even a small wildlife-friendly pond can make a huge difference to the biodiversity of your garden. It doesn’t have to be big – if space is limited, a washing up bowl sunk into the ground or even a shallow dish of water on the ground will help all kinds of species.
2. Cut out the chemicals
Where possible, you should try to keep your garden as natural as you can. Avoid pesticides or insecticides unless you can find organic versions, and try other ways to control weeds such as mulches. The more natural and organic your garden, the more attractive it will be for wildlife.
3. Let part of your garden ‘go wild’
Encourage wildlife by leaving an untidy area of your garden. Overgrown grass, piles of leaves and logs can be a great shelter for animals such as amphibians and hedgehogs. This also encourages insects, which are an essential food source for other animals.
4. Cut holes in the fence and make a hedgehog highway
Did you know that hedgehog territories can cover vast distances? Encourage them and other animals to visit your garden by cutting a 13cm by 13cm hole in your fence at ground level, to create easy access.
5. Plant Wild Flowers
Native wildflowers are great for wildlife as they flower at the right time of year for our native insects. Consider making a small wild meadow in your garden – perhaps transform an unused corner of your lawn, or even plant a window box or wildflower container if you’re struggling for space.
6. Make your own compost
Recycling garden clippings and scraps from the kitchen is a great way to do your part to reduce the amount of countryside used for landfill, as well as benefiting your garden. They make fab homes and food for various mini beasties and they make excellent soil conditioner to help your plants be bigger, healthier and prettier.
7. Give the birds (and others) a boost
Some of the best-known garden visitors are birds. With natural resources becoming fewer and fewer in the countryside, offering a helping hand in your garden is a great way to encourage birds and other wildlife to set up a permanent residence. Nesting boxes, birdbaths and feeders are sure to encourage various birds to return, as are nests and feeders for other bees and beasties.
Share your own top tips
Are you Wild About Gardens?
Our Wild About Garden Awards 2017 is launching April 27th – the scheme is free to enter for anyone who has or is developing a wildlife-friendly garden in Kent.