10 Tips to Attract Wildlife to your Garden
Is your garden teeming with wildlife or a sculptured vision devoid of life?
Whether you live in ten acre plot, a town house or even a flat, there are ways to attract wildlife to your garden.
Even a window box in a flat or pots on a balcony can attract wildlife if you choose the right plants and avoid chemicals.
I have provided links for building your own wildlife attracting equipment but most items can be purchased relatively cheaply from garden centres or websites.
Here are 10 top tips for attracting wildlife to your garden:
1. Compost Heap
Every wildlife garden needs a compost heap, it provides food and shelter for numerous species. Be very careful when you turn the compost, you don’t want to harm the wildlife. Garden organic has an excellent step by step guide to creating a compost heap including what to include in a good compost heap.
2. Wood Pile
So simple anyone can make a wood pile, simply find an area in your garden (try to build it where the sun will reach one side during the day) and then leave them to rot. Just find fallen or cut tree branches or stumps and pile them up, then leave it undisturbed for as long as your garden exists.
3. Build a Rockery
Frogs and newts, among other species, will find gaps in natural rocks and take up residence. If you have a pond create a rockery nearby, this can be filled with plants to look attractive but by using rocks instead of bricks you provide shelter for wildlife. You can use dry stone walling or simply pile some old rocks in a corner of your garden, after a couple of years they will have weathered and will look natural.
4. Provide Water
If your garden has room then build a wildlife pond, it doesn’t have to be big enough to swim in, just somewhere for wildlife to inhabit but please remember that many animals drown if they cannot get out of the pond so build in some ramps for wildlife to exit the pond. If you don’t have room for a pond then provide some source of water, a birdbath at ground level or simply placing old household objects that can collect rainwater in your garden.
5. Bird and Bat Nest Boxes
Bird boxes provide a secure environment for birds to nest, you will be most successful in attracting wild birds if your garden provides good sources of natural food. Cornwall Wildlife Trust provides a number of plans for building bird nesting boxes, remember that different bird species require different types of boxes and have different predators. Don’t forget our fabulous bats, here are plans for building a bat box which can be located on buildings as well as in your garden.
6. Bird Feeding Tables
Bird tables are an important source of food for birds in the winter. The RSPB provide information on , purchasing one and what to feed wild birds.
Dense hedges provide food, shelter and safe passage to wildlife. To encourage wildlife in your hedges you need to plant and care for your hedges, this ensures the best environment for wildlife.
8. Nectar Rich Flowers
Your choice of garden flowers can mean the difference between attracting butterflies and bees or simply having something pretty to look at. Here are some nectar rich flower varieties to get you started.
9. Avoid Chemicals
We all get pests in our gardens and there are some excellent chemical sprays to rid your garden of certain pests but you may also rid yourself of friendly species. Here is a website dedicated to organic pest control and they include advice for greenhouses and conservatories.
10. Watch from a Distance
It is so tempting, particularly when there are young, to get a closer look but disturbing wildlife will simply chase it away. If you have provided nest boxes do not be tempted to lift the top for a quick peek. Invest in a pair or binoculars or a zoom camera lens and wait for the young to start emerging.
A handy website to bookmark is UK Safari and they have a fantastic photography section.