Sometimes Mother Nature needs a little helping hand from humans. No matter the size of your garden, you can do your bit to give all forms a wildlife a place to roam around and explore. As homeowners, we can do our bit to make a big difference to the natural world by simply making some small changes.

Making Your Garden Wildlife Friendly

Whether you live in the countryside and have acres of land outside your back door, or you live in a small city townhouse and have a little balcony, there are plenty of things you can do to help wildlife thrive in the UK. Exterior spaces in residential areas form safe spaces for wildlife. Here are five ways you can bring more nature to your garden:

Bird Boxes and Feeding Areas

If you install a bird box or build a feeding area into your garden, you’re going to be making a positive contribution to the ecosystem. You’ll also let nature thrive, but some thought should be put into where they are placed.

Tips for putting up a nest box:

● Don’t place nest boxes too close to each other
● Shelter your box from the weather
● Make sure the box is positioned at height (around 3 meters)
● Keep nest boxes away from feeders
● Ensure it is not easily accessible by other animals (such as cats or squirrels)

Tips for putting up a bird feeder:

● Look for an area that’s quiet
● Make sure it’s in a place that doesn’t receive too much sun or wind/rain
● Having it in the open for birds to see is great
● Give the birds a lookout point nearby (such as a small bush around 2m away)

Let Natural Grass Grow

Without letting it become too wild, long grass in gardens is great for wildlife. If you let your grass grow, you’ll create a space for a wide range of species to explore, including butterflies and bugs.

Pick a Range of Plants and Flowers

If you want to transform your garden into a sanctuary for small wildlife, picking the right plants and flowers is essential. Not only do they make your property look nice, but they offer food and a safe haven for insects and small birds. What you should remember is that weeds aren’t necessarily your enemy. Nettles, daisies and buttercups are important for butterflies and moths, providing them with essential nutrition. These types of plants typically flower for a long time too, so can provide food when other sources may not be around. Another plant that’s great for wildlife is ivy. It has flowers and seeds that can be a good source for food and pollen. What’s more, it also provides birds and insects with cover year- round, offering a safe escape place.

Fix the Fencing

When installing fences around your garden, please think about hedgehogs. If you don’t
leave a small gap in the bottom for them to wander through, it can leave them feeling
disorientated and lost. By having the room to roam freely from garden to garden,
hedgehogs will feel much more at home.

Create a Home for Insects

By leaving a nice pile of rocks, twigs or wood in your garden, you’re able to give insects a sheltered space. This, in turn, can attract additional wildlife such as birds.

How to Watch the Wildlife that Comes and Goes

NatureSpy is a non-profit organisation that specialises in wildlife cameras and camera traps. These pieces of advanced technology allow those with an interest in wildlife to capture amazing images and footage of creatures in their natural habitat.

Why People Need to Do Their Bit

Throughout the UK, many small animals – including birds, bugs and bees – are struggling to survive. Despite this being a sad, worrying situation, it’s not too late for people to step in and help. There’s a whole host of declining species, so to prevent it from becoming a crisis, we should do everything in our power to ensure all creatures great and small have a place that they call home. Plus, if anything does happen to walk into your garden, it’s always nice being able to watch what they get up to. That’s why having a trail camera is a great investment.

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Written by James Common

Naturalist and nature writer from North-East England, forever learning. Common By Nature is maintained as an outlet for opinion and personal musings associated with the natural world, and as a journal detailing my exploits in the great outdoors. Enjoy!

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