As the nation’s wildlife populations decline, it is more important than ever that we give our local wildlife a helping hand. Here is how to attract more wildlife to your garden in Spring and Summer.
One-quarter of mammals and nearly half of the birds in the UK are at risk of extinction, according to the State of Nature report which was published in 2019. It also states that the populations of the most important wildlife in the UK have plummeted by an average of 60% since 1970.
However, there are still millions of wild mammals in the UK, including squirrels, birds, and hedgehogs, which we can help and enjoy in our own gardens.
Increasing the biodiversity of your garden and creating a haven for wildlife can not only be easy and economical but also beneficial to your garden.
Here are some tips on simple steps you can take to make your garden more wildlife-friendly and encourage wild animals and insects to visit.
Create Borders of Flowering Plants
Small animals like to hide among the foliage and forage for insects. Having borders of flowering plants around the edge of your garden will provide shelter for small animals and the flowers will attract insects, whilst making your garden look great.
Grow Some Wildflowers
Sowing wildflower seeds and planting wildflower bulbs will help to attract insects such as butterflies and bees to your garden. Wildflowers give off natural pollen that insects will revel in, and in turn attract birds and other animals to your garden as the insects provide a food source.
Plant Trees, Hedges and Bushes
Insects and animals great and small need trees, hedges, and bushes to survive. Blackthorn, also known as sloe, and fruit trees such as plum and apple trees are great for animals that are active earlier in the year such as bees.
Some species of insects will only feed and lay eggs on certain flowers or bushes. If you are wanting to attract a particular type of insect to your garden, you should research what they like.
Let Grass Grow
Some animals, including birds such as blackbirds and robins, benefit from short grass as it helps them to access important food sources such as worms.
However, some other animals benefit from long grass. By simply allowing grass and weeds to grow in a patch of your garden, you will attract a wider variety of wildlife, as it provides shelter for insects and small animals and allows flowers to bloom.
Keep Some Weeds
You should also allow some weeds to grow in your garden. Weeds are an important part of the garden ecosystem. Some weeds such as dandelions provide nectar for insects, and some caterpillars will only feed on certain weeds.
Reduce Artificial Lighting
Artificial lighting can deter creatures of the night and prevent bats from seeing objects in their path, causing them to crash into other obstacles and potentially injuring them.
Reducing or removing any artificial lighting that you have in your garden or around your home can help to minimise the risk of this happening.
Add a Pond or Water Feature
Having a small pond or water feature in your garden can attract insects and animals, including amphibians such as common frogs and toads, and smooth newts, to your garden.
For something lower maintenance, you could add a water bath or other shallow dish filled with water to create a bath and provide fresh drinking water to birds and other animals.
Create a Compost Heap
Using kitchen waste to create a compost heap in your garden is not only a great way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, but also makes for an excellent haven for minibeasts and food source for other wildlife.
Worms, slugs, and snails will be attracted to compost and play an important part in a garden’s ecosystem. Worms improve soil drainage and bring nutrients to the surface, and slugs and snails recycle compost.
Put Up Some Bird Boxes
Following their return to the mainland, birds will be looking for a home for the spring and summer. Having bird boxes in your garden will provide a safe place for birds to make a nest and raise their baby birds.
Put Out Food
A bird feeder is a simple yet effective way to attract birds to your garden and, if you are up for some DIY, you could even make your own. It is quite easy to make a bird feeder out of some spare wood or even an old plastic bottle.
Putting out cat and dog food at night can attract hedgehogs into your garden and they may even make a home there.
These are just some of the things you can do to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. Hopefully, after carrying out some of these small steps, you will welcome an abundance of visitors into your garden this spring and summer.
For help in finding wildlife-friendly plants for your garden, please get in touch with our team of experts on 01775 769333 or email email@example.com.
The Boston Bulb Company has over 40 years of experience in supplying only the finest quality horticultural products from farmers and growers throughout the UK and Europe.