Encouraging wildlife into your garden is so important. Not only will your children enjoy seeing the vast array of different animals but it also helps with the bio diversity in your own garden. And it is important to realise that this can be achieved in any size garden, even if you have a small balcony.
Perhaps you’ve noticed over the lockdown period that the wildlife out in your garden has increased somewhat, especially those of us that live in or around a town. You might have noticed the increased bird song, the roaming foxes or even the odd hedgehog scuttling through the garden.
There’s probably a few reasons why you’ve seen an increase in the wildlife and that’s because we’ve been at home and in some cases made an active choice to help our local wildlife – because we are at home. This is certainly something that we would love to see continue in our neighbourhoods and over the years, we will be able to provide more great habitats for this wildlife to thrive.
The best part of it is that it really doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s some simple things that you can do at home to increase the wildlife in the garden.
Make your own compost
Making Compost is really easy to do and a great activity to do with the children. Not only will it give you benefits in terms of growing in the garden but by composting waste from our homes, you will also prevent waste going into landfill. Some common items that can go in the compost are:
- Cardboard – Shredded. It will need to be plain cardboard like your amazon boxes. Not the glossy type such as cereal boxes.
- Vegetable Peelings from the kitchen
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags – only use tea bags that don’t contain plastic. Check out this guide to see if yours are plastic free.
This compost will provide a great habitat for mini beasts which will also be great food for other wildlife that comes into the garden. Not to mention when your waste has fully composted, it is great food for the garden – black gold.
Check out our guide on how to get started composting at home.
Let Your Grass Grow
Letting your grass grow is such a simple way of encouraging wildlife into the garden. In fact, it will save you time. Now, we’re not saying for you to let your whole garden grow long (you can if you want) but have a dedicated area where wildlife can live undisturbed.
You will actually be amazed at just how many insects live in the long grass. If you are keen to find out more, check out our article on why long grass is good for the garden.
Build an Insect Hotel
An insect hotel provides a safe haven for hundreds of insects that come into the garden. You can use a wide range of materials, many of them probably lying around the house or the garden.
The RSPB have a great guide on how to get started in building your own bug hotel in the garden.
Make a Pond
Ponds offer a great home for wildlife in any garden. And you don’t need a big pond to get the benefits of this type of wildlife in the garden. Just having a small patch of the garden with water, is one of the best additions that you can give it.
If you want to get started in putting a pond in the garden, a great way to start is with a sunken washing up bowl or a container such as a large sink. Once you have your container, you will just need to put some rocks in and have some above the water so that flying creatures have somewhere to land to have a drink. If you need some inspiration, check out this online guide.
Check out this page on the RSPB website for all types of wildlife that you might attract into your garden if you have a pond.
For the spring and summer months, growing flowers is a great way to encourage bees into the garden. It is always exciting in early March when the crocus’ are out and you see the first bee of the season. I don’t know what it is but it’s a sign to say that better days are coming up, just wait.
Make a hole in the fence
Hedgehogs love to scurry around! No matter where we live, we often put up fences to line our gardens and keep unwanted animals out. However, some animals, need to be able to pass through our gardens to find food and different habitats. Hedgehogs are one of these. Hedgehogstreet is a great website that explains everything there is to know about hedgehogs.
Did you know? A hedge can travel up to 1 mile a night to find food and mates.
Once you have made the hole in your fence you might want to consider putting something around the hole to remind you that it is your highway. Perhaps something like this.
Put up a bird feeder
Providing bird food in the garden is by far the easiest way to get wild birds into your garden. However, it is worth bearing in mind that once you start to feed the birds, you should really carry on as they will rely on your food source, especially when the weather is bad in the winter.
All you will need is a simple bird feeder, like this one on Amazon. There are more sophisticated bird feeders that you can also buy that will attract a wide variety of birds into your garden. You can also introduce other types of seed that will attract different birds. However, a simple wild bird seed mixture will certainly do the trick.
What Birds Are In The Garden?
Once you have put up the bird feeder, a fun exercise if to see how many birds come into the garden. You can check out this guide on Hawkshead for the most common garden birds.
We hope this has given you some inspiration on how to get wildlife into the garden to start growing your very own eco system!