Create a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

Posted by Natalie Cross on 22/07/2013

Following the RSPB’s campaign “Give nature a home where you live” are many ways to introduce new species to your garden via habitat creation that have relatively no cost and will only improve the garden’s natural beauty. 

Firstly, plant a multitude of shrubs and trees in your garden. These provide shelter for many types of animals and a mix of greenery will attract a wide range of species. Similarly, planting flowers with high amounts of pollen and nectar will attract bees, butterflies and other insects to your garden.


Other habitats you could create to increase biodiversity include rotting wood in a shady spot and undisturbed areas of garden with long grass.  These interesting ecosystems can provide homes for many unique species that would not be found in a garden otherwise. These may not traditionally be considered the most attractive areas but there are many ways to incorporate them that can enhance the garden.  For example, the logs can be arranged in such a way so as to become a striking feature, or you could scatter wild flower seeds with the long grass to create a meadow like atmosphere.


Another way to introduce new species to a garden is to start a compost heap. This will attract many different insects to your garden, which will subsequently attract many woodland creatures because dormice and hedgehogs will not be able to resist the huge amount of food and warmth the compost heap provides them!.

However, the best way to introduce new creatures to a garden is to dig a pond. These provide a place for water plants, amphibians, birds and insects. When trying to increase the wildlife it may be better not to include fish as these may eat amphibian eggs, to include a sloping side for animals to enter and you should avoid using chemicals as much as possible for a healthy pond. If a pond is not possible a water feature is still a great way to encourage biodiversity, even if it is just a small birdbath.


Finally, there are many wooden structures that can be made that will attract local animals. For example, you could build a simple bird box, bat box, hedgehog house or a bee hotel, which all provide wildlife shelter in your garden.

So as you can see there are many different ways to increase the biodiversity of your garden with minimum effort and your garden will only look more beautiful for it.