We all love to see wildlife but in recent years it has been declining steadily. So, how can we make our gardens into appealing natural habitats?
Creating a wildlife-friendly garden will attract all kinds of creatures – some good and some bad. However, even the bad ones contribute positively – bugs and insects attract larger predators and bring a wider diversity of animals and birds. Below you will find some examples of quick wins to get your garden bustling with wildlife.
Installing a Bird Bath
Water and food is essential to survival and installing a bird bath is a perfect start. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, plinthed model – a shallow tray or large dish or bowl is sufficient.
Make sure that there is always a source of fresh water all year round so animals can always have a drink. One of the most effective ways of attracting more wildlife to your garden is by using a pond. Add some aquatic plants and you’re almost guaranteed to see a lot more wildlife coming in and out of your garden. If you don’t want a pond, try a natural water container. Anything that contains water and is not too out of place will help.
Disease can quickly spread among birds in a shared environment. So, if you want to include a bath or feeding station in your garden, maintaining good hygiene is vital. It's simple enough to achieve this, you just need to wash your bath with warm, soapy water every few days.
If you want to attract wildlife into your garden, you should limit the number of deterrents. Cats are natural hunters of birds and small animals and one way to reduce the impact they can have is to fit a bell onto the cat’s collar. Fledglings are particularly vulnerable to cat attacks during the Spring. If possible, during this time, try to reduce the amount of time your cat spends outdoors or supervise them if they do go outside.
Dogs can be a problem too, but a small fence around a certain part of the garden can stop them from accessing areas of the garden where you want wildlife to flourish.
Use Flowering Plants in Your Garden
Insects and pollinators attract wildlife and the more flowers you have, the more they will come. A well planted garden will flower throughout the year, bringing a steady stream of insects and wildlife into your garden. Insects will boost healthier garden growth through pollination, which benefits you in subsequent years.
While a collection of the same plants or trees might look nice, it’s not biologically correct and you should try to ensure that you have a wide range of naturally occurring, native plants that will encourage wildlife.
This one might seem obvious, but it is highly recommended that you keep the use of chemicals in your garden to the absolute minimum. Things like slug pellets, weed killer and other pesticides can be fatal either directly or indirectly (i.e. a bird or hedgehog eats a slug that has ingested slug pellets) to wildlife or pond life.
Wherever possible, replace with an organic, natural counterpart that will not harm or deter.
Creating a wildlife friendly garden creates a great space for you to spend time in. A bespoke Summerhouse or Studio is an ideal way for you to enjoy the garden you have created. All of our Garden Buildings can be customised, therefore all the more reason to get in touch and tell us how you would modify your building. Our team have over 40 years experience in hand-crafting timber garden buildings, and will even deliver and install them free of charge.