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Wildlife gardening

1, June 2022

How to turn your garden into a wildlife sanctuary

From the tops of the trees to the soil underneath, our gardens are home to all kinds of critters – but we could welcome even more. As summer settles in and plans turn to pruning, weeding and trimming, we’re rooting for a wilder approach. This Garden Wildlife Week, find out how to transform your grassy patch to a wildlife wonderland and watch nature thrive before your eyes. 

Let the grass (and weeds) grow

Step away from the lawnmower. Long grass provides valuable shelter for all sorts of insects and animals, while wildflower blooms will attract butterflies and bumblebees. 

Just add water

Think of your pond as the local wildlife watering hole – providing refreshment for thirsty birds and hedgehogs, as well as a place for frogs, newts and dragonflies to call home. Even the smallest of ponds can become an oasis of biodiversity, so whether it’s a bucket in the ground or a wannabe lake, get digging and the wildlife will follow. Just don't forget to build a ramp in and out of your pond (sticks and stones will do the trick!) to prevent your new found pond friends from drowning.

Feed the birds

Attract feathery friends with the simple addition of bird feeders. The type of feed you use will determine which species come to visit – for example, Goldfinches go for nyjer seed, Sparrows snack on cracked corn and Magpies prefer shelled peanuts. You can even make your own bird feeder with an empty plastic bottle – find out how.

Say yes to mess

Hate tidying? Great news: wildlife prefers things on the messier side. Fallen leaves, woodpiles and twiggy off-cuts can all be beneficial for a biodiverse back garden, creating a habitat for small animals and insects to settle in. 

Pass on pesticides

Chemicals and wildlife don’t mix. Keep harmful pesticides out of the vegetable patch and opt for nature-friendly alternatives. Companion planting - which involves dotting flowering plants amongst crops or beneath fruit trees - is a clever way of confusing and deterring pests while attracting those all-important pollinators.

Put a hole in the fence

Give wandering wildlife a helping hand by creating a ‘nature highway’. A hedgehog-sized hole in the fence will let spikey explorers roam free. 

According to the Wildlife Trusts, if we put all the gardens in the UK together, they’d cover more land than all our nature reserves combined – proof that even a tiny yard can dream big. So imagine if each of us did just one thing to make our side of the fence that little bit wilder, what would you do?

Already creating your own backyard wilderness? We want to know about it. Tag us on Instagram using #FaithInNature and #WhatWouldNatureSay. 

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