With around 23 million gardens in the UK, covering 435,000 ha, gardens have great potential as wildlife habitats. And, with a bit of planning and a few tweaks, they can indeed be wonderful places for a whole host of creatures, from birds to bees, butterflies, frogs and toads, as well as many less obvious creatures. Wildlife-friendly gardens should be beautiful too, and a colourful garden full of life can lift the spirits and give immense pleasure, and can also help to connect people, both young and old, with our wonderful wildlife.
Many of our gardens are specifically designed to showcase wildlife-friendly gardening, and demonstrate the many things that you can do in your own garden to attract a wide variety of wildlife.
The nine-point plan for a wildlife-friendly garden
• Plants, Plants, Plants The greater the number and variety of plants, the more wildlife you will attract.
• Don’t Just Plant Anything British natives attract the greatest variety of wildlife, closely followed by species from temperate regions of Europe, Asia and North America.
• Add Water A pond of any size will boost the variety of creatures in your garden.
• Dead Matters Dead and decaying vegetation is a vital resource for many creatures.
• Build a Home Provide bird and bat boxes etc.
• Feed the Birds And other creatures too.
• Don’t Use Pesticides All pesticides are designed to kill.
• Don’t Put Wildlife in a Ghetto Make your entire garden wildlife-friendly and a home for wildlife – it will be worth it!
• Don’t Use Peat It is surely wrong to destroy wildlife-rich habitats in Britain or further afield in order to feather our own nests - follow this link for more details.
Many of our gardens at Natural Surroundings demonstrate what you can do at home to encourage wildlife in your garden. Follow this link to explore our demonstration gardens.