Gardening for wildlife

Wildlife garden Gwent Wildlife TrustCommon Blue Butterfly by Adam Cormack

Why should we create wildlife gardens?

Our gardens represent a vast living landscape, the way they are managed can make a big difference to wildlife. Hedgehogs, sparrows, song thrushes and stag beetles are all declining species in the UK, but if we manage our gardens sympathetically for wildlife, these creatures and many more will feel the benefits. Gardens are increasingly important spaces for wildlife as habitats in the wider countryside shrink, so whether your garden is large or small, you can make a real difference to your local wildlife with a few simple measures.

What can I do?

By gardening for wildlife you will be making your garden a place that wildlife can rely on to provide the food and shelter they need to survive, especially in those winter months.

There are many small changes that you can make that make a big difference to your wild visitors, why not:

  • Put up nest boxes or create wildlife homes and put them in a secluded place, out of the reach of predators.
  • Leave a 'wild' area that you don't tidy or trim too often.
  • Install a small pond.
  • Sow a wildflower area.
  • Use fewer chemicals.
  • Make your own compost.
  • Grow your own fruit and vegetables

The Wildlife Trusts' have produced a leaflet which offers advice on creating and maintaining a wildlife garden. You can view this as a pdf by clicking here or visit Wild About Gardens which has a lot of helpful hints and tips.

Why not try making your own….

Below are some useful links to building your own wildlife homes to shelter and protect the animals that visit your garden.

  • Blue tit nest box

Blue tit by Amy Lewis

 

To find out how to build a blue tit nest box click here.

 

 

 

Blue tit by Amy Lewis

 

 

  • Barn owl nest box

Barn Owl by Margaret Holland

 

To find out how to create your own Barn Owl nest box click here.

 

 

 

Barn Owl by Margaret Holland

 

 

  • Hedgehog house

Hedgehog by Gillian Day

 

To find out how to make your own Hedgehog house click here.

 

 

 

Hedgehog by Gillian Day

 

  • Insect Hotel

Bee pollinating a dandelion by Jon Hawkins

 

To find out how to make your own insect hotel click here. Or if you would like it to be on a larger scale like a mansion click here.

 

 

 

Bee pollinating a dandelion by Jon Hawkins

 

  • Bat box

 

Pipistrelle Bat by Amy Lewis

 

To find out how to make a bat box click here.

 

 

 

Pipistrelle Bat by Amy Lewis

 

Online wildlife gardening resources

The Wildlife Trusts work in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society on a number of wildlife gardening projects:

National Wildlife Gardening Competition - a national competition for wildlife gardeners.

Gardening With Wildlife In Mind database - an online database of thousands of plants and animals which aims to help gardeners choose plants that attract wildlife.