For this month's My Wild Garden Year challenge, create a home for newts to shelter.
A rock pile is a great thing to add to your garden for wildlife, especially in conjunction with a garden pond. Amphibians such as Great Crested Newts and Toads will crawl into the cracks in the stones for shelter and hibernation sites, and they will be used by a myriad of invertebrates.
Creating a rock pile is incredibly simple. Just follow the steps below:
1. Choose a site for your rock pile. Near to a pond is ideal as newts and other amphibians will not have to go far to find shelter. Even better if it is amongst long grass as this will provide food and a safe passage between the pond and shelter.
2. Source some stone. This could simply be rubble from a nearby building site – newts aren’t fussy! But if you would like it to look neater, you can source some more decorative stone.
3. Pile the rocks together any way you wish, but ensure that there will be spaces in between the rocks and under them for newts to crawl into. Newts are unlikely to climb so it would be better if the rock pile is wider than it is high.
You can get full instructions for creating features for newts by clicking this link and the pictures below, as well as more hints and tips for wildlife gardening in July.
Don't forget to send us your pictures on social media using the hashtag #MyWildGardenYear or on email using the subject title 'My Wild Garden Year.