3rd MARCH IS WORLD WILDLIFE DAY! Here are my top 5 tips for encouraging and supporting more wildlife in your own garden:
1. MAKE A POND – of any size, anything from a hand dug 3x2m (or larger if you fancy!) pond to a small bucket or old sink/bath dug into the ground. Providing water (without fish) and including suitable plants for shelter is the single best thing you can do to help wildlife, plus it’s a joy to observe the coming and goings – you could set up a wildlife camera to see what visits your pond!
2. GO NATURAL – don’t use chemicals of any kind – no weedkillers, fertilisers or pesticides.
3. GET COMPOSTING – it’s so easy to do, and you won’t ever have to buy compost in plastic bags again! (if you are buying, always go for Peat-free options). I will be writing a separate post all about composting so tweet me or post a message on my Facebook page if you have any specific questions!
4. ALLOW WEEDS – ‘weeds’ are often just our native wildflowers, or a plant someone once decided they didn’t like, in the wrong place. Many of them are highly beneficial to our native wildlife, and also very pretty! So give over a corner or as much as you can of your garden and allow them to flourish. You can always manage them gently, removing the flowers just as they finish, before they set seed, to stop them spreading too much if you don’t want them to.
Did you know that stinging nettles are an essential source of food for many species including Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillars? They attract aphids and other small insects too, which will in turn be eaten by ladybirds, hedgehogs and a host of other wildlife. They are also highly nutritious for us and can be used in soups and stews or to make tea!
5. SAY NO TO MOW – cutting your lawn short and into stripes may look neat and tidy but it has absolutely no value at all for wildlife. Allowing it to grow longer in between cuts will enable low-growing plants such as daisies and clover to establish and flower, supporting bees and other pollinators. You could also leave one area (or the whole lawn!) to grow all spring/summer, mowing a path through it to reach the shed or anywhere else you need access to. It’s exciting to see what will pop up, you never know you may have lots of wild beauties just waiting to emerge!
These are just my top 5 suggestions, there are many more, however if you only picked one of these that would make a big difference to local wildlife!
If you would like some help in turning your garden into a wildlife haven – whether the whole space or just a section of it – please get in touch, we would love to help you with this!
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