Our garden serves a much more important purpose than simply somewhere to sit in the sunshine. How we take care of our gardens is crucial if we want it to be a haven for local wildlife. With around 16 million gardens in the UK, we could use these spaces to protect some of our declining and threatened wildlife species. Here are some ways to make your garden more nature-friendly:
- Bird feeding
Birds are a vital part of a garden ecosystem and putting up bird boxes and feeders can help make sure they thrive in your garden. Place a bird box in a high, sheltered spot and put out protein-rich feed, like fat balls in the spring and seeds for the winter.
- Don’t mow the lawn too much
Most homeowners will cut their grass too often, for fear of looking like their property isn’t cared for. Try to reduce the number of times you do cut the grass as longer grass is one of the least common habitats for wildlife. By letting the grass grow, you’ll be providing a haven for wildflowers, butterflies, insects and many plant species. Try to leave it long for the winter at least.
Climbers are highly useful, especially Ivy, which many people simply see as a pain. The flowers and seeds are excellent sources of both pollen and food and the plant provides much-needed shelter for insects and birds all year round. Consider roses and clematis as well for wildlife.
- Insect hotel
Create an insect hotel by piling up rotting wood, rocks and twigs in your garden. All manner of bugs will find shelter here, including beetles and spiders. You might not be keen on them, but they are vital to the garden’s ecosystem.
A pond is an amazing thing to have for wildlife and it doesn’t even have to be that big. A buried bucket would suffice. A pond ideally needs unchlorinated water, from a water butt for example. It’s best if located not in full shade or sun and add some waterlilies to prevent the water from becoming stagnant.
Starting a compost heap is an excellent idea as it will naturally enrich your soil and provide a home for woodlice and worms, as well as countless other species. If you want to deter rats, only put raw food in your compost pile.
- Plant trees
Trees will always provide ideal habitats for all kinds of wildlife. If you’re unsure about any aspect of tree care or planting, contact a Tree Surgeon Bournemouth. Why use a tree surgeon? Because they are professionally trained in all aspects of tree care and maintenance.
What is more attractive than a garden blooming with colour? It will smell pretty good too and be a source of much food for insects. Choose native species and try to grow as many varieties as possible through the seasons.
- Embrace weeds
Try to feel a bit more laidback about weeds growing in your garden. Weeds like buttercups, daisies and nettles are an excellent food source for many insects and remain whatever the weather, providing an essential lifeline when other plants might not be in bloom.