It's estimated that there are 16 million gardens in the UK. That’s a lot of land with which we can be gardening for wildlife. Wildlife is not only beautiful in its own right, but is useful for the gardener, from pest control to pollination. Bees help pollinate flowers and food. Frogs eat slugs. Birds and ladybirds help keep aphids at bay.
1. Wild plants for wildlife
Wild plants are great for wildlife. This is because our native plants and animals have been around longer than species that have been introduced to this country. They’ve evolved together and are more likely to support and sustain each other.
- Wild flowers and blossom provide food in the form of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects.
- Berries are important for feeding birds when food supplies are short.
- Small trees and shrubs that are good for blossom and berries include rowan, crab apple, elder, blackthorn and hawthorn.
2. Wildflower meadows
Why not attract wildlife into your garden by creating a wildflower meadow? Our how to guide is available here.
If you don't have room, simply leaving patches of lawn to grow longer will allow flowers to bloom for bees and butterflies and provide shelter for small mammals such as wood mice, voles and shrews. Take up our pledge to 'Say no to the mow' and leave the lawn mower in the shed until August.
3. Build a pond
The single best way to bring wildlife into the garden is to build a pond. It doesn’t have to be big – a container will do. But it needs to have at least one sloping side so that creatures can easily get in and out. Want to know what plants to grow there? Visit our Wildflowers to Grow in the Garden page and choose "pond" as your location. Or why not build a bog garden?