Whether you’re a city dweller with just a balcony for outdoor space, or a countryside resident with plenty of garden to share, there are an abundance of ways to encourage wildlife into your world. As with any animal, there are a few key cornerstones to a happy environment; from food, water and shelter, to comfort and even places to breed. We offer our expert advice on how to welcome the great British wildlife into your garden this spring.
Over the hedge
The first step when encouraging smaller animals like frogs, hedgehogs or dormice into your green space, is to check whether your property’s boundaries are easy enough to cross through. If your garden backs onto another garden, it’s common to put up fences to mark these borders, but these fences can actually cause access trouble for wildlife.
Small animals such as hedgehogs have mobility issues, so hopping the fence isn't an option for them. In this instance, it’s better to use hedges and/or wired fences instead. If this isn’t possible, sawing out a small circular hole in your fence - perhaps behind a bush - will allow such creatures to come and go as they please.
You may find that a little encouragement also works wonders - simply place a small amount of our Brambles Hedgehog Food in the entrance to your garden or within the hole created and they’ll soon know where to come for their dinner.
According to a study conducted by B&Q, our gardens occupy around a quarter of the space in towns and cities. With such a vast expanse of land dedicated to green areas, ensuring that at least some of the plants and trees you plant are beneficial to wildlife is vital.
It goes without saying that larger plants and trees can support more wildlife - the average mature oak tree can home over 280 different species of insect. However, with oaks taking approximately 100 years to reach a mature size , a quicker route to attracting wildlife is through annuals, perennials and shrubs. Flowers and herbs such as Geraniums, Alliums and Chives are loved by bees and butterflies alike, so plant a few of these and watch our pollinating friends flood in.
Stuck for Space?
If you’re short on outdoor space but still want to welcome the wildlife in, why not try setting up a feeding station? Our Garden Bird Deluxe Feeding Station is a one-stop shop for all common birds. It features a water dish, a mesh feeder, twin fixed hangers and two additional optional hangers. All you need to do is to fill and hang your bird feeders on the prongs and watch from afar as birds of all breeds navigate their way to a tasty treat.
Ponds are guaranteed to attract all manner of animals into your garden. Birds looking for a pit-stop to hydrate, frogs, or even newts, looking to breed; plus, plenty more. By creating even a small pool of water - or better still, a proper pond - you're guaranteed to find new species in your green space.
Creating your own pond would be a fine way to pass a weekend and can be easily done by burying an old washing up bowl or even an unused bath, filling it with rocks and aquatic plants and making sure to include a small ramp inside, to ensure animals don’t get stuck inside. To maximise its potential for wildlife then it’s best not to add fish, but even if you do it will still be an absolute haven for a lot of wildlife.
If this seems a far stretch for your outdoor space, a large water bowl would provide just enough drinking water and room for a splash around - our Hammered Copper Pet Bowl is a great multi-purpose product for this use. Placing out of full sun and adding a few pebbles to create landing areas, will also mean it works for bees - which can die from dehydration in extended dry spells
Let the Wild Things Grow
Whilst many gardeners may shudder at the thought of an overgrown lawn or unraked leaves, leaving these to flourish a little longer is a great way to provide safe shelter and food for a huge range of bugs and small animals, from caterpillars to shrews.
Growing the grass out is a quick fix to boost the environment in which wildlife reside, but if you’re in it for the long haul then a wild meadow is what you’re after. Create a beautiful haven for both humans and animals by scattering down some annual wildflower seeds, poppies and grasses for a perfect start each year around March or April.
If you’ve been inspired to let wildlife in this spring you can check out our full Wildlife Range here.
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