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Creating a Successful Wildlife Garden

By Annette J Beveridge (Young)

When contemplating the creation of a wildlife garden, think about the space you have and try to maximise it. You do not need to have perfect edges or a considerable space to work with but if you want to be a little inventive,  think vertically as well as horizontally. Consider habitats and the animals you are trying to encourage. A little knowledge goes a long way and if you cater to their needs, they will come. It actually takes very little for nature to move in, you just have to set the scene.

The aesthetics are only one part of a wildlife garden. Here’s the main points to consider:

Feeding the birds

If you display food for the birds on a regular basis, there’s no doubt that they will find it and make good use of it. Don’t just serve up one type of food,  offer a variety of foods and there are many varieties available, it is worth trying out a few including seeds and fat balls. When you cater to the masses, you will have a larger influx of visitors as a result.

Build a pond for your wildlife garden

A pond is a perfect addition to your natural space. It doesn’t need to be large, just enough space in which to encourage amphibians and invertebrates, and birds will enjoy bathing in the shallow edges.

Soil

When gardening, try to avoid letting the garden soil settle, unless you have planting to do. Laying compost on the top will also enable easy foraging for birds.

Design corridors

Try to think of connecting corridors when you are creating your design. It is fun to create microhabitats and be a little creative when it comes to planting in the sunny areas of the garden as opposed to shadier areas. Create marshy zones near to the pond, and plant flower beds and glades so that there is glorious colour, texture, and shade for insects and amphibians. You may even find the odd slow worm or a grass snake that takes advantage of carefully created paths leading to the pond.

Log piles and lawns

If you have a spare corner or bushes along the edges of your garden, store sticks and logs beneath them as they will give harbour to many insects. Even your lawn must be considered a part of your wildlife garden. Keep it uncut around the edges and shorter in the middle. This provides cover for insects but also, enables the likes of badgers or foxes to search for grubs. Many gardeners want nice even edges but don’t be too careful. Try to avoid this in the main.  Irregular edges have far greater appeal and will boost the diversity of creatures within your garden. If possible, create access points to the outside world through gaps in fencing or hedgerows and this enables easy access and exit points for hedgehogs, foxes, and badgers as they need to wander.

Having a wildlife garden can bring so much joy into your life. But it plays an important role in providing a home, food, and water for so many natural species. It is far easier to achieve than you might think and with a little bit of effort, you will find numerous benefits and, your garden will be a haven for the wonders of 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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