Landscape Planning and Heritage

Gardening with wildlife

Gardens have great potential for nature. There are about 15 million gardens in the UK and they make up about a quarter of urban areas.

You can make a difference to conserving biodiversity in your community by providing the right conditions in your garden for wildlife to thrive.

  • Aim for maximum variety in vegetation height, structure and plant choice.

  • Grow a mixture of native and non-native plants that flower at different times of the year and provide pollen, nectar and berries.

  • Provide water for birds and other animals.

  • Leave a section of grass to grow into a mini-meadow.

  • Retain leaves, stems and seedheads on plants during winter to provide shelter and food for invertebrates and birds.

  • Create a wild corner specifically for providing food and shelter for wildlife - nettles, log piles, leaf heaps are excellent choices.

  • Cover bare walls and fences with climbers to give extra wildlife habitats.

  • Supply additional features such as nest boxes and bird feeders.

  • Reduce the use of chemicals and choose disease resistant plants and the right plants for your local conditions. Consider gardening organically.

  • Avoid using peat and recycle your kitchen and garden waste by creating a compost heap - an excellent home and feeding ground for invertebrates.

  • Conserve water by collecting rainwater, choosing drought resistant plants and using mulch. In dry spells avoid watering the lawn and mow on a high setting.

More information is available at :

www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/wildbritain/gardenwildlife/myspace/

www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/

www.english-nature.org.uk/Nature_In_The_Garden/

www.wildaboutgardens.org