10 Ways to Encourage Wildlife into Your Garden
It’s important to encourage as much wildlife into your garden as you possibly can.
Watching nature unfold in front of your eyes in your own garden is a tremendously rewarding experience. It’s also very satisfying to know that you are contributing to the overall health of the environment and helping a diversity of local wildlife to thrive.
Our gardens are their own mini ecosystems so we should be helping them to flourish by encouraging all manner of wildlife to come in, by providing homes and sources of food and water.
Today we are looking at 10 ways in which we can all encourage more wildlife into our gardens.
The majority of these ideas cost very little in terms of time and money to implement, so there is no excuse for not taking action today.
Here are 10 ways to attract more wildlife into your own garden.
1. Put up Nesting Boxes
Installing nesting boxes is a fantastic way to encourage more birds into your garden.
They are best installed during autumn, when many birds will begin searching for a suitable place to roost or feed. They will often return to the same nesting box year after year.
If you are considering fixing your nesting box to a tree, you are best off doing so with a nylon bolt or wire wrapped around the trunk, otherwise you could cause damage to the tree. Remember that the girth of the trunk may continue to grow, so it’s important to check the box every couple of years to ensure that it is still secure.
You can download a plan from the RSPB to build your nesting box here. [https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/kids–schools/making-a-nestbox-activities.pdf]
2. Set up a Beehive
Setting up your very own beehive is a great way to encourage more wildlife into your garden.
As bees are pollinators, they will help the local ecosystem by pollinating the plants in your garden.
With more bees present in the local area, flowers and plants will be much more profuse and fruit and vegetable crops will increase.
Of course, not only will keeping bees encourage more wildlife into your garden, it will also provide you with your very own honey.
Honey has lots of health benefits. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that have been used for hundreds of years as skin and hair treatments, and it’s included in face masks, shampoos and bath oils.
It is also a good source of antioxidants, and can help with digestive issues and soothe a sore throat.
3. Build a Pond
Building a pond in your garden will attract pond life, such as frogs, toads, newts, birds, and a variety of insects.
You can, of course, add some fish, too.
You’ll notice a wide range of different types of wildlife congregating around your pond at different times of the year, as a garden pond provides a home, breeding grounds and bathing spots, and is an excellent source of food and water.
Not only will ponds attract more wildlife to the garden, they also look great, and the sound of water can be incredibly relaxing and calming, making the time you spend in the garden all the more enjoyable.
4. Plant More Plants & Trees
This one is fairly obvious, but it’s an important point, nonetheless, and also one of the best ways to attract local wildlife into your garden.
The more trees and plants you have in your garden, the more it will help to attract an array of wildlife, including birds, insects, squirrels, bees, butterflies, shrews, voles and bats.
Growing wild flowers, such as buddleias, cornflowers, foxgloves and bluebells, will attract lots of wildlife.
Hedges and trees are ideal places for birds to nest, and blackthorn, hawthorn and elder all make for good choices.
5. Hang a Bird Feeder
Another way to attract more birds into the garden is to hang up a bird feeder.
Fat balls and seed mixes often come in ready-made hangers, so you simply need to hang them from a tree or bracket. They are inexpensive to buy, too.
It’s probably a good idea to choose a squirrel-proof feeder as, otherwise, you may find that they steal all the food intended for the birds. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the squirrels should go hungry – just hang another feeder somewhere else in the garden for them.
6. Build a Log Pile
This one is very easy to do. Simply pile up some logs in a quiet spot in your garden and watch the wildlife be drawn to it like a magnet.
Log piles are perfect for encouraging biodiversity, as the pile creates the ideal habitat for small mammals, such as hedgehogs, plus amphibians and all manner of insects.
You could even take things a step further and purchase a hedgehog hibernaculum, which can be filled with newspaper and dry bedding to create the perfect home for a local hedgehog.
7. Create a Home for Wildlife Using Leaves
This is a similar idea to the log pile. If you have somewhere you can place a pile of leaves, you’ll find it’s a great way to encourage other types of wildlife into your garden, too.
Frogs, toads and newts, plus centipedes and other types of insects, will be attracted to this type of organic matter and it will be teeming with life in no time.
8. Stop Using Chemicals
Many of us use an array of chemicals to keep pests and weeds away from our gardens, but a lot of those chemicals can be harmful to other types of wildlife, too.
They are also bad for the environment, and contaminate the ground and sources of food for local wildlife.
Gardens should be natural environments and we should expect – and get used to – the occasional weed or two.
If weeds and pests really are a problem, then try using non-toxic chemicals.
9. Create a Rock Garden
Not only do rock gardens look amazing and add an interesting feature to a garden, they are also another fantastic way to attract more wildlife.
Shady areas in your garden are a haven for bugs, beetles and amphibians.
When you build your own rock garden, use a variety of shapes and sizes to create interest.
Also, remember that the gaps between the rocks are more important than the stones themselves, so make sure there are plenty of nooks and crannies for wildlife to squeeze into.
10. Make Your Own Compost
There are many reasons to install a compost heap in your garden.
Firstly, it’s a great way to recycle food waste and grass clippings. You can even put cardboard into a compost heap.
Once this has broken down to form compost, spreading it on our gardens will improve the quality of the soil which, in turn, will provide more nutrients for our plants.
This then has the knock-on effect of encouraging more wildlife, such as bees and butterflies, into our gardens.
The compost provides a good source of food for worms, snails and centipedes, too.
Compost bins are cheap to buy, or you can even make your own from old pallets. Follow the instructions on this video.
We should all be encouraging more wildlife into our gardens to help our native species continue to survive, so that future generations can enjoy them as much we all have the privilege to, now.
Many of the ideas on our list are not just great for attracting more wildlife, but have additional benefits, too. For example, both establishing a compost heap and reducing or eliminating the use of chemicals is great for the environment, and if you have children, all of these ideas are educational, and will get them thinking about how even small actions can have a big impact.
We hope you’ve found our list useful and inspiring enough to get out into your own garden and start implementing some of these ideas.
Now it’s your turn to let us know what ideas you have for encouraging more wildlife into our gardens.
Let us know your thoughts and ideas by leaving us a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.