Our wildlife needs a helping hand!
It is estimated that almost 87% of homes in the UK have a garden, or access to one. These gardens combined cover a larger area than all of the UK’s nature reserves combined according to The Wildlife Trusts
However, to maximise living space or for ease of living, many of this garden space is being lost to hard surfacing such as paving and decking and as a result, some of the wildlife that typically visits is struggling.
Here we have a few tips on how you can encourage more wildlife to visit your garden!
Butterfly friendly plants
Plant an array of plant species that will flower at different stages of the year meaning that butterflies, moths and bees have a good source of nectar for a longer period of time. Butterflies and moths are not particularly fussy and will feed on almost any flowers nectar, and this will also attract more insects into your garden giving them a haven and a food supply.
If you are running out of space, pots and planters filled with wildflower seeds work excellently, especially in gardens that are mostly covered with hard surfacing.
In addition, rotting fruit will also provide a great food source for butterflies.
Add bird feeders
By adding a bird feeder into your garden, you can really help the local wildlife. Either a shop bought feeder, or a homemade feeder will work. If you live in an area with a lot of squirrels, you may prefer to have a squirrel proof feeder so that only the small birds can access the food.
Just remember to clean the feeders every time you top them up with more food.
Not only is composting great for limiting the amount of waste that goes to landfill, but it also helps to feed and house insects, creating a mini beast haven right in your back garden!
Millipedes, spiders, woodlice and worms all love a juicy compost heap and if you spread home made compost on your garden, you will encourage worms who in turn, can go on to help with soil drainage and help to transfer important nutrients to the surface via the tunnels they create.
You may be tucked up in bed, but plenty of wildlife is out and about after the sun goes down.
Certain flowers, such as honeysuckle and evening primrose, are night blooming flowers which release scents after dark which are perfect for pollinating insects.
There are also 18 species of bat living in the UK, and in the right conditions you can expect for these creatures of the night to make an appearance. To help the bats, reduce or remove artificial lighting that is around your property – or have lights on for a reduced period of time when triggered.
Hedgehogs are also night-time garden visitors and play a key part in keeping the garden ecosystem well balanced. To aid their travels, consider adding a hedgehog hole in fences, allowing the hedgehogs to roam garden to garden a little easier.
Let us know if you have any top tips for encouraging wildlife in your garden and green areas.