Top tips and tricks for attracting animals to your garden
If you’re looking to attract animals to your garden, there are many methods you can follow. By welcoming such creatures to your garden, you’ll be happy to know you’re helping some of the most vulnerable animals survive through different seasonal periods.
Believe it or not, the population of our bees has dropped by a third. If they were to become extinct, this would cause huge problems as they currently pollinate 70 of the 100-crop species that feed 90% of the world. Here, we look at ways in which we can attract wildlife to our gardens to ensure the survival of such creatures.
A touch of water
If you can, creating a pond could be helpful. This, no matter how big or small, will allow water plants to colonise naturally. It will also provide a welcome spot for amphibians such as newts and frogs to breed but do note that they lie shallower water than is generally thought. However, try not to add fish to your pond if it’s primarily for wildlife as they will eat anything that moves!
Alternatively, you could introduce a bird bath. This will take up less room and provide our flying friends with a much-needed supply of clean and fresh water which is suitable for drinking and bathing. Where possible, set this up at ground level where they would most likely find water in nature, but make sure there’s an open area between the bath and your shrubbery so that the birds can easily escape any predators, such as cats.
Compost can be very beneficial and can speed up the natural recycling habits of nutrients across your green space. It can make your soil healthy which will provide a great space for everything living and growing in it. Better still, this can be free and is easy to use, unlike if you were to import it from elsewhere. Compost heaps are great shelter for smaller creatures who appreciate the heat that is released by decomposition.
A mixture of shrubs
By growing a mix of shrubs, trees and climbers, you can provide an area for food and shelter, including nests, for certain species of wildlife. Small trees and shrubs you should look to grow in your garden include rowan, elder, blackthorn and crab apple. These will offer a range of specialist native wildlife the support they need by providing for them – it will also supply you with a useful crop.
If you plant autumn flowering bulbs, you’ll be sure to encourage more wildlife to your garden. Wildflowers for example are great for bringing insects and pollinators such as butterflies and bees to your garden as they provide pollen and nectar which is crucial for food pollination. Lavender and thyme are great herbs that will help attract them. Elsewhere, purple loosestrife is an ideal wildflower for the soggier spots in your garden. Buddlea is another firm favourite of butterflies.
Creatures love to be fed, so introducing hanging feeders could be a great solution. However, it’s not as simple as just hanging a feeder. It’s important to place them in an accessible but safe area which is out of reach of predators. A traditional location would be hanging from a tree, but if you only have limited space, then look at placing it on hooks on an external wall. If possible, try to keep any feeders out of direct sunlight.
Create a safe space for birds during breeding season introduce nesting baskets across your garden. It’s important to realise that different types of birds prefer different boxes, so be sure to do your research if there are certain species you’d prefer to attract.
Out in the wilderness
If you have a large green space, a dedicated area for wildlife to be could be great. This should include a pile of dead wood and a patch of longer grass as this will encourage grubs and beetles, which will in turn bring larger foragers to your space. It could also include a rock garden that supports those plants and animals that have adapted to surviving in thinner-soiled areas.
While there are many other ways in which we can help keep our wildlife thriving, add any of the above to your space and you can be sure to know that you are indeed doing your bit to help the environment around us.