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5 Tips for a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

5 Tips for a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

Your garden is home to an incredible variety of creatures, from insects and earthworms to birds and maybe – if you’re lucky – even a hedgehog or two. With wildlife increasingly under threat from urban development and environmental pressures, it’s more important than ever for us to look out for our garden creatures and give them all the help we can. Start planning now for a wildlife-friendly garden next year with these top tips.

Top Tips for a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

  1. Plant shrubs and trees. Autumn is an ideal time for plants to be dormant, allowing them to get their roots settled in before spring. So long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged, it’s ok to plant.  Berry-bearing plants provide food for birds and plants with thorns or spiny leaves make excellent shelter for nesting birds in spring.

  2. Plan a pollinator-friendly garden. Aim to have at least one plant in flower in each season of the year. 

  3. Create a log pile. If you’re doing any pruning in winter, save the branches and use them to make a log pile in the corner of the garden. Log piles provide habitat for beetles, woodlice, and other creepy crawlies, and a damp, shady log pile may also attract frogs and toads to feast on insects. As a side benefit, frogs and toads are also fabulous at keeping the slug population down, so everyone wins! (Apart from the slugs, that is.)

  4. Be a bit untidy. If you didn’t get around to cutting back all your faded perennials in autumn, don’t worry. Hollow-dried flower stems provide the ideal home for overwintering insects, and you’ll still have time to tidy up the garden once the weather warms up in spring.

  5. Feed the birds. Garden birds can struggle in cold weather, and they need to eat plenty to keep up their fat reserves. Fill bird feeders with high-energy sunflower seeds or hang up suet balls. Birds also need to wash their feathers in winter to maintain their insulation; keep bird baths topped up and defrosted.

If you’re looking for inspiration or advice on planting a wildlife-friendly garden, visit our centre where you’ll find tools, plants, seeds, and much more. Our staff are always happy to help!