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A Wildlife-Friendly Garden – Bring Nature To Your Door

by Annette J Beveridge (Young)

Whether your garden is a blank space just waiting to be brought to life or, if it is already established, you can still bring nature to your garden.  Making a wildlife-friendly garden does not mean leaving it to grow wild, many people make this mistake. You can create a sanctuary that suits you and that also suits the creatures that come to visit.  It does not even need to be a large garden. If you provide the resources they need, wildlife will find it. Consider it the space that keeps on giving.

Wildlife-friendly garden habitats

Think carefully about the available space before you get started. A little planning can go a long way.  Design it so that you set aside areas of the garden just for nature. Ensure flowering plants and shrubs as these provide food for butterflies and bees and consider the plants that provide seeds or berries for all-year-round feeding. Birds really do need a helping hand throughout the year and if you provide a feeding station, you will be amazed at the number of different species that visit. Keep it nicely stocked with tempting foods.

If you have a lawn, avoid cutting it for a while, but if this is too much to bear, leave an area of lawn to grow wild. This provides shelter for a variety of insects which in turn, becomes food resources for hungry birds. Untidy borders are also useful. Again, resist the urge to tidy these areas until the temperature drops. Always keep in mind the animals you are inviting in.  A woodpile and sticks placed in a corner will be quickly colonised. It is worth having a compost system too.

Adding a pond to your garden is another great way to cater to birds. It also becomes an additional habitat useful for invertebrates and amphibians. Keep the edges of the pond shallow so to provide easy bathing for birds and a shallow area will ensure that hedgehogs can climb out if they fall in.

When you plan the garden, don’t just think on ground level but consider your vertical space too. Grow climbers up the walls or fences. These provide safety and breeding places for a wide array of life. You may even find some birds nest in these hard-to-reach places. If you are keen on butterflies and moths, grow the plants that will feed them and help them to reproduce.

Sustainability – think, plan and act

Create a sustainable wildlife-friendly garden remembering to consider the materials used. Avoid peat and use a water butt to conserve rainfall. Recycle and used reclaimed materials if possible too. A wildlife-friendly garden is easy to create with a little consideration.  Even the smallest garden can become a miniature nature reserve. By creating a wildlife-friendly garden, you give animals and insects a greater chance of survival. They also have much-needed food and habitat and you gain too by having a unique insight into the natural world.

This is a writing sample. Find out more about Annette or, take a look at the list of writing services available HERE. Please do not re-use without the express permission of Annette J Beveridge (Young). 

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