Thursday, 11 June 2020

Want to Support Wildlife? Start with your Garden!

{Collaborative Content} So many people understand how important wildlife is to the environment, but don’t do much, if anything to support it. If you want to start supporting wildlife, you don’t need to give a huge amount of money to charity or start a rescue - you can start in your own garden.


Below, you’ll find some great pointers that will help you:


  1. Don't Cut Your Grass Too Short

Cutting your grass too short will deter wildlife from visiting your garden. If you have a larger garden and don’t want it to get out of control, you could simply allow a patch of your grass to grow longer than the rest. It’s up to you how you do it - just don’t cut your grass too short. 


  1. Make Sure There’s A Water Source

There should be a water source in your garden for birds and any other wildlife that may need it. A bird bath is great, but a small, shallow pond or running water feature can also work well. They look great and create a tranquil environment too!  


  1. Plant A Variety Of Flowers 

Planting a variety of flowers will ensure you’re giving wildlife the environment they need, but do your research to ensure that they are plants that provide pollen and nectar for as long a season as possible. This way, you may be able to invite in wildlife such as the Red-tailed bumblebee. You can’t simply plant any flower and hope for the best, so do your research. 


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  1. Don’t Remove All Debris 

Removing all of the debris from your garden might seem like a good idea, but keeping some there is a good way to create a nice environment for wildlife. Decaying wood provides a fantastic habitat to a range of specialist wildlife that is growing uncommon in the countryside, so see if you can provide some of that in your garden for the wildlife to appreciate. Don’t keep the rest of your garden too tidy either. 


  1. Create Feeding Stations

Feeding stations for wildlife give them a safe space to eat. Bird feeders and tables can make a great start - here’s some advice:

  • Ensure your bird feeders won’t be disturbed too often. Keep them out of the way of human traffic.

  • Ensure it’s open and safe and away from anywhere cats can hide. 

  • Try to keep it away from too much sun and cold wind. 

  • Consider more than one kind of feeding station - some birds will prefer an elevated feeder, others may prefer to feed on the ground. 


  1. Add A Rock Garden

A rock garden is a perfect low maintenance option to attract specialised wildlife such as mason bees, which are important pollinators. They look nice too, so consider adding one to immediately help and attract more wildlife types. 


  1. Grow A Mixture Of Trees And Shrubs 

As well as flowers that pollinate for a large portion of the year, try to grow a mixture of trees and shrubs. Larger plants, particularly trees, support more wildlife. They can provide food, but that’s not all - they provide cover and nesting sites for garden animals, from insects to larger species. It will take you a while to grow a tree, but starting now is better than never. You may also like to plant an already reasonably sized tree to get the ball rolling. 


  1. Start Composting

Composting is great for the environment and wildlife too. Doing this helps all your garden plants and wildlife, as it speeds up the natural recycling of nutrients. Composting also makes healthy soil and a great mulch and will shelter many small creatures, including some larger ones.  You will need the following to get started:


  • Ready-made wooden compost heap 

  • Or some wooden pallets and posts

  • Garden prunings

  • Kitchen waste (not meat or dairy)

  • Grass clippings

  • Nails or string


Learning what you can include in your compost heap will also help you to avoid waste - for example, coffee and tea grounds. Many things that go in the bin can go in your compost heap, so do some research. 


If you take the above advice, you could be on your way to being an ally to wildlife in no time. Many homeowners don’t realise that they are actively deterring wildlife by providing few places for them to shelter, eat and drink. If you incorporate these things into your garden, you’ll love how lively it becomes. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you are doing your bit for the wildlife and therefore, the planet. 


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