Wildlife gardening

Tom Marshall

Go wild in your garden!

We can all do something to provide for local wildlife so why not start today with one of the ideas on our website. Wildlife friendly gardening is about creating shelter and providing food, water and nesting sites. You will be rewarded by seeing and hearing more birds, butterflies, hedgehogs and other wild creatures that would not have had a reason to visit you before.

Together, our gardens are a vast living landscape. With an estimated 16 million gardens in the UK, the way they are cared for can make a big difference to the natural world.

Bring back bees

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White-tailed bumblebee (c) Penny Frith

Help hedgehogs

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WildNet - Tom Marshall

Build a bat box

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Brown long-eared bat © Hugh Clark

Care for birds

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Blue tit at feeder © Gillian Day

Our 10 top tips!

Your own wildlife garden joined with thousands of other wildlife friendly gardens creates one big nature reserve, a green corridor bursting with life and colour. Discover how with our tips below!

1) Grow nectar rich flowers and shrubs ...

... to attract bees, butterflies and other insects. Try to have something in flower all year round.

2) Plant native trees, hedges and climbers

They provide good shelter and food for insects, birds and mammals. Choose varieties that produce berries. Hedges are important green corridors linking patches of habitat.

3) Create a small meadow

Wildflower meadows are scarce so have a go at creating your own. The easiest option is to leave an area of grass to grow, there may be some wildflowers already there. You can add local, native wildflowers or seeds onto bare patches of soil, but not successfully to a dense grass sward.

4) Dig a pond

They are popular with amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects including dragonflies. Ideally one edge should slope gently for easy access and the other should have tall marginal plants for shelter and emerging dragonflies. Only use native pond plants and don’t stock with fish.

5) Make log and stone piles, rockeries and stonewalls

Small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects and invertebrates will all benefit and it will give nature’s pest controllers somewhere to hide away from predators.

6) Provide food and water for birds all year round

They will eat some pests while awaiting their turn at the table. Try different types of bird food to attract different species of bird.

7) Make bird and bat boxes, hedgehog and insect homes ...

... out of untreated wood. Site bat boxes in threes around the tree and bird boxes in sheltered spots facing eastward and out of reach of cats.

8) Make a compost heap

Your garden will benefit from it and it makes a fantastic habitat for amphibians and reptiles; your natural garden pest controllers. By using homemade or peat free compost you are safeguarding a decreasing habitat destroyed by peat digging.

9) Don’t use pesticides

They will also kill beneficial insects such as bees, lacewings, hoverflies and ladybirds. Choose natural ways to control slugs and snails. Encourage a natural balance to develop by having a range of habitats attracting a varied wildlife.

10) Relax and enjoy ...

Don’t be too tidy. Leave some areas undisturbed. Install a seat so you have somewhere to sit and enjoy your visiting wildlife!

Be inspired...

There is so much you can do in your garden for wildlife - take a peek at some of our actions and how to guides. Enjoy! 

Wildlife garden blogs

Discover more

Wild about gardens?

There are so many things you can do in your garden - want to learn more? Take a look at Wild About Gardens - a joint initiative between The Wildlife Trusts and RHS. It's packed full of ideas on how you can improve your garden for wildlife and has a different theme every year.  This year we’re going wild about butterflies!

Wild About Gardens

Learn more

© Alan Price/Gatehouse Studio

All our lives are better when they're a bit wild
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