No matter the size of your outdoor space, there’s always something small that we can do that will have a huge impact on our local wildlife. No matter whether you’re working with a tiny balcony in the middle of a city, a concrete patio in a suburban estate, or a huge lawn out in the countryside – there’s always something that we can do to help the UK wildlife. The best way to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden is to provide more of their basic needs – food, shelter, and water.
To find out just how easy it can be to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden, check out the helpful tips below.
1 Leave things to get a little wild
If you’re looking for ways to make your garden or outdoor space more attractive to your local wildlife, consider leaving a small portion of your garden or lawn untouched. You don’t need to let your entire garden space turn into a jungle, but a small corner of the garden or a portion of your flower border provides the perfect environment for many of the UK’s local wildlife.
When you leave a grassy area alone for a little while, all sorts of native plants appear. Common wild plants such as clover, foxglove, and forget-me-nots provide a fantastic source of nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Even just a tiny corner of your garden or a flower pot or two on your balcony can make a big difference and encourage more local wildlife to visit you.
2 Grow more wildlife-friendly plants
The easiest change to make, after leaving an area of your garden untouched, is to grow more wildlife-friendly plants. This doesn’t just involve planting more flowers, but also introducing hedges instead of fencing and planting more trees and shrubs in your space.
Plant more British trees
We are fortunate enough to have plenty of British trees that are the perfect size for our gardens. For example, the classic silver birch tree is a brilliant British tree to grow in UK gardens because it provides food and a place to live for over 300 species of insects. Where there are insects, there are often other animals, such as birds, too.
Another example of a great British tree to grow in your garden that will help to attract more wildlife to your area is the wild cherry tree. The flowers, leaves, and fruit of this tree provide food and shelter for a huge variety of UK wildlife – plus the blossom is absolutely gorgeous – therefore making it a beautiful garden addition!
Grow more flowers
Growing more bee-friendly flowers won’t only attract the humble honey bee, but lots of other insects such as butterflies and lacewings. An easy way to encourage wildflowers to grow is to purchase a wildflower seed bomb*. Simply chuck a few of these nifty seed bombs into the area of your garden you want your flowers to grow and then just sit back and wait.
Alternatively, there are plenty of amazing flowers that grow exceptionally well in UK weather, including chives, sunflowers, and lavender. These are all easy to grow no matter the space you have available to you; even on a balcony, you can plant these flowers in containers.
3 Say no to chemicals
If you want to increase your chances of seeing biodiversity within your garden, you need to first cut down on the number of chemicals you use. Ditch the insecticides and look for more eco-friendly ways to deter unwanted guests from your garden.
4 We all need water to survive
All animals, including humans, need water to survive. What better way to attract wildlife into your garden or outdoor space than by providing them with this most basic need? You could build a pond in your garden, or create a mini pond using a bucket or container and some rocks. Or you could make it even easier for yourself and place a bird bath* outside. Even inserting a water feature into your patio can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting local wildlife into your garden.
5 Provide sturdy shelter for the animals you wish to attract
These days, there are all manner of animal homes that can be bought online. In order to encourage the wildlife you want to see the most into your garden, think about the type of shelter you can offer them. You could place hedgehog homes at the bottom of your garden, hang bug hotels up near your wildflower section, or even provide a butterfly house. Of course, you can make all these things yourself – I have a great guide on how to make your very own bug hotel from materials found in your recycling bin.
Building these shelters or putting them up in the garden is a great project to get the kids involved with. Transforming your garden into a haven for wildlife provides you with the perfect opportunity to discuss biodiversity with your children and why it’s so important to provide plenty of space for our local wildlife to visit.
This is just a small handful of ways local wildlife can be encouraged to visit your garden or outside space. No matter whether you’re planting bee-friendly flowers on your balcony, or leaving an area of your lawn to grow like a wild meadow, you are providing much-needed food and shelter for some of the UK’s most beloved wildlife.
What have you done to make your garden more wildlife friendly? I’d love to hear what you’ve done to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden, so please let me know in the comment section.
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