Alot of us would like to have more wildlife come to visit our gardens and for good reason too! Some of the UK’s most loved animals are in decline and at risk of extinction.
Lawsons, a builders merchant who specialises in landscaping supplies has pulled together a list of things we could all do in our gardens to help prevent this.
Provide Food & Water• The first way to attract wildlife to your garden is to provide them with a source of food and drink. Some options include:• A dish or container of fresh water for them to drink from• Keep your bird feeders full with seeds and bird food• Make sure you have a selection of flowers that are nectar rich to attract bees and butterfly’s• Fruit trees and berry bushes are a great source of food for animals and insects
Give Wildlife Somewhere to Sleep
The list is endless when it comes to ways that you can help animals survive the night or even the winter. Creating a safe home for wildlife means you are more likely to see and enjoy different species throughout the year. A few options include:• Installing trellis along your walls to provide an area for birds to roost• Planting honesty and hedge garlic for butterflies to enjoy• Installing a bat box• Building a hedgehog box and placing it out of direct sunlight and in thick vegetation (or behind your shed)• Creating a bee hotel• Ponds and water features can be a habitat for a huge variety of animal life, from amphibians and invertebrates to bathing garden birds• Leaving your borders until late winter or early spring so that the vegetation can provide shelter for insects
As well as providing shelters, it’s really important that you provide ways for animals to enter and exit your garden. While birds and insects can fly, hedgehogs and frogs need a hole in your fence to crawl through.
Turn Your Garden into a Wildlife Haven
A perfectly turfed lawn may look good however it does not help to preserve our wildlife for the next generation. While we are not suggesting you let your garden grow completely wild any of the following would be great improvements: • Grow a selection of trees and shrubs that could supply nectar and food• Keep some areas of long grass for birds to lay eggs and for insects to live in• Install water features to allow birds to bathe and drink and for amphibians to lay eggs.
These can all be incorporated into your garden without compromising on the overall look and feel.
Reduce Hazards for Your Wildlife
Once you have created safe conditions for wildlife to live and thrive in your garden, you need to remember to avoid harming them in other ways. Common garden items such as slug pellets, for example, can kill hedgehogs. Toxic wood preservatives can also leech into the soil and harm wildlife, so it’s important to work with natural or non-toxic paints and preservatives throughout your garden.