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Top tips for attracting wildlife to your garden

 

Top tips for attracting wildlife to your garden

1. Go organic. If you avoid the use of pesticides in the garden, you will immediately increase the number of insects visiting. This in turn will bring in insect eating birds such as robins, wrens, blackbirds and thrushes, as well as increase the number of bees, butterflies and all manner of beneficial insects.

2. Plant some wildflowers. Even a red campion tucked under the hedge, or purple loosestrife in the pond edge will increase the number of insects visiting your garden, and all other wildlife associated with these native wildflowers will benefit.

3. Make a nectar border. Choose carefully, some good nectar plants and flowers are recommended on a previous article. The more nectar/pollen producing plants you have the better your garden will be for wildlife.

4. Plant a tree. If you have room for a native tree, such as silver birch or rowan, so much the better, but if not try something like an ornamental crab apple. You will be amazed at how birds will come to the garden if there is a tree provided for them with perching and roosting places, and food in the form of seeds and plants.

5. Plant a hedge. A native hedge in the garden, composed of a good mixture of berry bearing, spiky shrubs such as hawthorn and blackthorn, together with dogwood, guelder rose, hazel, spindle and others. Add some wild roses and honeysuckle and recreate a country hedge. Again the birds will flock to an area like this, and reward you by nesting there amongst the spiky plants.

6. Make a meadow. This is the best way to encourage some of the smaller butterflies into the garden – the ones that don’t take nectar from Buddleia. Many of our native butterfly species lay their eggs on grasses, and having long grass with meadow flowers in the garden is a good way of providing breeding places for meadow browns, gatekeepers, ringlets, speckled woods and the skippers. Other wildlife will also benefit especially other insects and small mammals.

7. Make a wildlife pond. Any water in the garden is better than none at all. Even an updated dustbin lid with fresh water will encourage birds to drink and bathe, but a proper wildlife pond with gentle sloping edges and wild flowers will be a delight for you and your wildlife visitors. Frogs, toads, newts, mammals, birds and dragonflies will all benefit.

8. Put up a nest box. Creating artificial places in the garden to encourage wildlife is very worthwhile, so a nest box for birds, a bat box or even a few logs in a cool place will help.

This article is sampled with permission by Jenny Steel from her web site www.wildlife-gardening.co.uk

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