Winter Wildlife Friendly Gardening!

Amphibians love a garden pond or water feature!

Amphibians love a garden pond or water feature!

Check out these top 3 tips to help garden wildlife this winter.

Robin by  Jon Hawkins.

Robin by Jon Hawkins.

Gardens are a haven for us and our native wildlife as their natural habitats decline. No matter what size your plot, there are a multitude of ways to make your garden great for wildlife and people!

Some of our once common species, such as toads and hedgehogs have lost so much natural habitat now that their best refuge is private land and gardens. Why not use the winter months to set up your ‘wildlife-friendly’ features ready for spring?

Here are my top 3 tips to help make your garden more attractive and beneficial for wildlife:

1. Have some sort of water feature no matter how small the garden, this will attract and support all manner of creatures. Birds, invertebrates and small mammals will visit to drink and maybe bathe. Creating a small or medium sized pond this winter will provide amphibians, dragonflies and other invertebrates with a place to lay their eggs in spring, which in turn provides a food source for others further up the food chain.

2. Once you’ve attracted the wildlife, it’s a good idea to provide them with a place to shelter, retreat or live. Log/stone piles, dead wood, plant cover and an area of grass left uncut/undisturbed are brilliant. You can also buy purpose built homes for birds, insects and hedgehogs. We have a lovely range on our web shop so you could help our conservation work, as well as your garden visitors, if you purchase them from us. Click here to visit our online shop!

3. My third choice is something that people perhaps don’t think too much about…compost. Peat in compost is harvested from sphagnum peat bogs; unique, irreplaceable and specialised habitats which hold millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases underground. 60% of peat compost is bought by individual gardeners so more people going ‘peat-free’ could have a massive positive impact. Look for PAS100 certification on the bag to be sure.

Visit our website for lots more detailed information and ideas to inform and inspire.

Many people have taken refuge and pleasure in encounters with nature this year so use these winter months to create a safe haven for yourself and nature.

Enjoy!

Gretchen Taylor
People & Wildlife Officer