Wild About Gardens

This week we are discovering what we can do in our gardens, patios, balconies and window sills to help wildlife

Discover:

Do you know that there are about 27 million gardens in the UK? If we combined all of our gardens, they would cover more land than all of Britain’s nature reserves combined!

Our individual gardens may be small but they are an important link between urban nature reserves and the wider countryside, forming vital wildlife corridors. 

Gardening for wildlife doesn’t have to be messy, you can devote a small corner to wildlife or your whole garden – depending on what is appropriate for you. Making space for nature in your borders will allow a variety of creatures to thrive, providing a balanced, living system which will encourage other wildlife to visit your garden – birds, bats and small mammals. 

Explore:

Go for a walk around your garden and think about how wildlife friendly it is, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there any trees, bushes and shrubs?
  • Can I see lots of wildflowers, such as dandelions, daisies, nettles, thistles, ivy or lavender?
  • Do we have any bird feeders hanging on trees, walls or fences?
  • How long is the grass? Are there areas where it is allowed to grow a bit longer?
  • Do we have a compost heap for leaves, grass, twigs and garden waste?
  • Is there a pond?
  • Can I see a bird box, bat box, minibeast or bee hotel?

If you answered ‘yes’ to lots of the questions above, then your garden sounds like it is quite wildlife friendly, which is fantastic. We have lots of ideas to help your garden be an even better home to even more wildlife species.

If you answered ‘no’, then don’t worry, this week and in the following weeks, we’ll be taking action and learning how we can make small changes to our gardens and outdoor spaces to make them more friendly for nature. Scroll down for some activities we can do now, or visit this website for more ideas!

Create:

Attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators by planting wildflowers. If you have a garden, you could plant a butterfly border. Or if you have a patio, balcony or window sill, you could build a butterfly box, it doesn’t have to take up much space and could be as small as a margarine or ice cream tub or as big as a windowsill plant box.

If you’d like your garden to be a home for amphibians, hedgehogs and minibeasts, then make some hidey holes for them to enjoy.

Stuck indoors? Then why not get creative and make some wild salt dough creatures.

Or collect some stones and paint them to look like your favourite wildlife creatures and minibeasts.

Painted rocks (c) Sara Lindberg

Photo credit: Sara Lindburgh