As gardeners, we all have a responsibility to look after not only the plants in our
garden, but also the wildlife. It’s simple to provide havens for these friendly visitors,
with a few simple measures outlined below.
Birds and Bats
It doesn’t matter how big your garden is or where it is; birds will find your garden.
Looking after birds during the winter is most important, so make sure you have a bird
bath (even a plastic tray would do) filled with fresh, un-frozen water. Food can be
provided in the shape of seed feeders, fat balls and insects attracted to the varied
flowers and plants in your garden, and if you can, put up appropriate bird houses
relevant to the species local to your area. If you don’t have any large trees, install bat
boxes to give them safe places to roost.
Insects and Small Mammals
Of course, the best way to attract insects and butterflies to your garden is to provide
them with plenty of pollinating plants, soil beds and rocky or wooden shelters.
Artificial shelters and wildlife stacks can be easily made from household objects
including fallen leaves, bricks, tiles and wooden logs, providing insects and small
mammals with safe places to breed and hibernate all year round.
You don’t have to have a big pond to attract wildlife to your garden. And as long
as you keep on top of simple pond maintenance tasks such as keeping the pond
clear of fallen leaves, debris and excessive algae production, and safe from
unwanted guests like herons, you can keep attracting amphibians (frogs and toads),
invertebrates (pond-skaters, water beetles and pond snails), birds, insects and small
mammals to your garden.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life, so the more diverse your garden is in
terms of habitat, the more wildlife will be drawn to live in your garden.